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The boys and girls Blackhawk basketball teams are in Lavaca this week for the Golden Arrows Tournament.

The boys have been to Lavaca before though the girls inclusion is new this year. Both teams took on the Magazine Rattlers in opening round action this past Monday. Finals are set for Saturday.

Lavaca is located a little east of the Fort Smith area on Arkansas Highway 255, almost a two-hour drive from the Ridge. It is just south of the Arkansas River, an agricultural community in the river valley which will celebrate their 100th year as a city next year. A fairly small town, the population almost quadrupled from 1970 to 2000, going from 500 to 1,900, but it has been stable with annual slight growth since with 2,200 counted in the latest census.

The boys come back with the "Battle on the Ridge" a week from Thursday. A full review of the tournament will be in next week's TIMES.

The girls come into the Lavaca event with a 5-2 record while the boys are sitting on a 4-1 mark. The Rattlers of Magazine are 2-3 in girls action and 0-4 in boys competition prior to the Pea Ridge game.

Record bad year

The year 2018 will go down as the all time losing-ist year for Arkansas Razorback football team, a program that was started in the 1890s.

Getting thoroughly whipped by Missouri 38-0 last week, the season ended on a much lower note than it began back in September. However, more than one analyst saw the Hogs slated for the league basement which is where they finished at 0-8.

The problem was the new high-octane high-performing coach Morris was saddled with players recruited to play former coach Bret Bielema's Big 10 style play. A lot of the holdover players never bought into the new system and Coach Morris doesn't have the type players he will need to play the game his way. He will get there, hopefully, before the never satisfied call for his resignation.

While the Blackhawks didn't have as good a year as the past three, it was a good year, finishing 15th in the state and taking a top two conference finish for fifth year running.

My favorite St. Louis Cardinals had an off year, starting badly, firing the manager before a late season surge gave them a chance. A later season fizzle finished off a ho-hum season.

The Razorback cross country team had a decent season but bombed the nationals, both boys and girls.

It is almost 2019, and it'll be a New Year! The Blackhawk track teams will be getting into gear. The girls are heavily favored to have another banner season coming in as the defending indoor AND outdoor sate champions. The boys had back to back third place finishes in state, coming within a hair and a DQ from two state trophies in 2018.

Good to great. Blackhawks have been good to great for several years now and that trend likely continue.

'Hawks finish the season ranked 15th in state

Through three rounds of the playoffs, the Blackhawks have settled into what will likely be their final ranking in the 2018 football season, ranked at No. 15.

Finishing at 7-4, the 'Hawks lost their first round game to West Helena, losing in overtime. The 'Hawks had a couple of opportunities to score during regulation but penalties and mistakes snuffed them out.

West Helena went on to lead Rivercrest in the next round, but lost in the fourth quarter largely due to a inopportune turnover. Of course, all turnovers are inopportune as far as that goes, but some are more damaging than others.

Rivercrest went on to host Dumas and was leading 18-8 headed into the fourth quarter, but a raft of turnovers let Dumas get away with the victory, scoring 22 unanswered points.

With a break here and there, less mistakes and turnovers, the 'Hawks could well have been hosting Robinson this week in the semi-finals. It is what it is, and it was what it was.

Beside the Dumas/Robinson matchup, Shiloh is hosting Arkadelphia in the other semifinal this week. Arkadelphia is the defending state champion, but started their year losing the first five games. They are now 8-5 compared to Shiloh's 12-1 mark.

Shiloh is rated to win but the Badgers have been on a roll since October. The best kickers and running backs are with the south Arkansas boys. It'll be a battle between two teams who will never be accused of being overly humble or sportsmanlike.

MaxPreps CBS State 4A poll

1. Shiloh^12-1

2. Robinson^12-1

3. Dumas^12-1

4. Arkadelphia^8-5

5. Nashville^10-3

6. Rivercrest^11-2

7. Bauxite^9-3

8. Warren^10-2

9. West Helena^9-3

10. Ozark^9-3

11. Stuttgart^9-3

12. Hamburg^8-4

13. Dardanelle^9-3

14. Fountain Lake^6-5

15. Pea Ridge^7-4

16. Heber Springs^7-5

17. Harmony Grove^5-5

18. Gosnell^6-5

19. Trumann^7-4

20. Mena^8-4

21. Elkins^7-4

22. Star City^4-7

23. Westside^7-4

24. Southside^6-5

25. Lincoln^8-3

26. Ashdown^3-7

27. Pottville^5-6

28. Lonoke^6-6

29. Crossett^2-7

30. Central Arkansas^5-6

31. Prairie Grove^5-6

32. DeWitt^4-6

33. Pocahontas^4-7

34. Bald Knob^4-6

35. Gentry^3-8

36. Malvern^0-10

37. Berryville^4-6

38. Dover^2-8

39. Riverview^2-8

40. Brookland^2-8

41. Highland^1-9

42. Waldron^2-8

43. Subiaco^1-9

44. Cave City^1-9

45. Monticello^0-10

46. Mills^0-10

47. Gravette^1-9

48. Green Forest^1-9


Editor's note: John McGee, an award-winning columnist, sports writer and art teacher at Pea Ridge elementary schools, writes a regular sports column for The Times. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. He can be contacted through The Times at

Sports on 11/28/2018

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