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The Blackhawk boys basketball team fought their way into the Elite Eight of the 4A State Tournament, capturing their 28th victory of the season with a 56-55 nail biter victory over Dumas, but then saw their season come to a close after losing to Batesville Southside 62-45 in the quarter-final round.

Pea Ridge Blackhawks 56

Dumas Bobcats 55

The 'Hawks fought to a 1-point halftime lead over Dumas Wednesday, Feb. 28, then had a great third quarter to take a 10-point advantage into the fourth quarter. The 'Hawks went ice cold from the free-throw line in the final period, hitting just five of 16 shots as Dumas took the opportunity to make a run at the 'Hawks, missing the last shot of the game to allow Pea Ridge to escape with a 1-point win.

Pea Ridge fought the Bobcats to a first quarter 13-13 tied on the strength of six field goals, one a 3-pointer. Hayden Holtgrewe hit the trey and added a pair of field goals to spark the 'Hawks early on. Nick Coble added a pair of buckets of his own with Mikey Mahoney scoring one inside. The Bobcats were led by an 8-point surge by Trey Slater.

Sophomore Wes Wales came into the game in the second quarter and came up big, scoring twice inside. Holtgrewe scored two more goals with Coble adding another as pea Ridge outscored Dumas 13-12 in the period to head into intermission leading 23-22.

It looked like the 'Hawks were well on their way to cruising to a win, as they pumped in 18 points in the third quarter while holding the Bobcats to just 9. Mahoney was very active in the inside, popping in four field goals in the paint to lead the charge. Coble was finding the range on the perimeter, dropping in a pair of treys. Wales also scored inside with Will Feemster hitting both his free throw attempts. The flurry of offense gave the 'Hawks a seemingly safe lead at 41-31.

The Bobcats decided to go for a pressure defense and not worry about fouling. The strategy was to foul the 'Hawks and make them win the game from the free throw line, and it was very nearly successful.

Normally a very accurate team from the charity stripe, the 'Hawks were as cold as ice in the final eight minutes. They put up 16 shots in the final period with only five of them making their way into the net. The strategy was not without risk as Dumas had all three of their top scorers finishing the game with four fouls, but none fouled out.

The 'Hawks did manage to generate some offense, mostly in the person of Coble who had three of the four fourth-quarter field goals. One of his shots was a big trey with Kobe Rose also nailing. Holtgrewe hit four of the five free throws in the period with Coble adding the other. Four of the five starters from Dumas added scores with all of them hitting at least two field goals.

The final seconds of the game saw the Bobcats having the ball for the final shot and a chance to win. Their shot was off the mark, Coble corralled the miss and held the ball until the buzzer sounded to end the contest.

Coble led all scorers with 20 points with Holtgrewe adding 15, Mahoney 10, Wales 6, Rose 3 and Feemster 2.

Pea Ridge Blackhawks 45

Batesville Southside Southerners 62

Against Batesville Southside, the 'Hawks were decided underdogs in the game Thursday with the Southerners having a 6'10" center and 6'6" forward to lead their attack.

However, an opening spurt by the Blackhawks belied their underdog status as they raced out to a 18-13 first quarter advantage. Kobe Rose and Nick Coble both ripped a pair of treys to lead the charge with Mikey Mahoney scoring twice inside. Coble hit a short jumper for the other score.

The 'Hawks boosted their lead a little in the second period, using baskets by Coble and Mahoney along with a pair of free shots by Mahoney as they took a 24-17 lead midway into the second quarter.

Mahoney, who had done a marvelous job containing the Southerners tall foreign center Tom Miholjcic, was whistled for his second foul and had to go to the bench to preserve his playing time. Miholjcic who had been very reticent in facing up to Mahoney, scored four straight field goals and a free throw. The 'Hawks did not score again in the second period with the Southerners going on to outscore the 'Hawks 20-6 in the time frame to take 33-24 half-time lead.

Miholjcic scored two more goals in the third with teammate Grant Patterson scoring four straight goals from the outside as Southside built up a 49-33 lead by the buzzer. The 'Hawks got only single goals from Coble and Mahoney with both athletes ripping two of two from the line. Holtgrewe added the other free throw.

Southside got a little cold in the last period, but Mathew Holifield, who had not scored a field goal throughout the first three quarters, hit a pair of treys to prevent any kind of a comeback. The 'Hawks got a trey from Rose as well as a free throw, Holtgrewe scored a goal and free throw, with Mahoney and Landon Allison adding field goals as the Blackhawk season came to an end at the buzzer.

Coble and Mahoney led the scoring for the 'Hawks with 14 points each with Rose scoring 10, Holtgrewe 4 and Allison 2.

The Blackhawks ended the year with a sparkling 28-7 record, one of the best records in Pea Ridge basketball history.

The North Regions other representatives, Pottsville, Booneville and Berryville, all lost in their first state tournament games. Pottsville lost 61-55 to Riverview, Booneville lost 74-34 to Westside and Berryville lost 58-51 to Ashdown.

The four semifinal teams all came from the East Region. In the semifinals Saturday, Southside was eliminated by Jonesboro Westside 59-57 with Baptist Prep defeating Riverview 42-40, setting up a Baptist Prep/Westside championship final game this week.

Sports on 03/07/2018

Print Headline: Blackhawks make Elite 8

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