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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer photographs by Randy Moll Senior Blackhawk Brandon Whatley leapt for a basket at Gentry High School on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.

The last time Gentry faced the Hawks, they played in the Ridge with the Lady Pioneers escaping with a 1-point victory while the Pioneers lost by 1 point after five overtimes. They relished the chance to get Pea Ridge at home where they might go for a sweep. The Hawks boys and girls team replied with "that's not happening" as they swept both games on Gentry's floor last week with the boys hammering their hosts 59-35 with the girls handling the Lady Pioneers by a 39-32 score.

The boys ran their conference ledger to a perfect 8-0, three games ahead of second-place Farmington in the 4A-1 West. The 4A-1 East is being led, surprisingly, by Shiloh with their 6-2 league record. The girls raised their league mark to 3-5, in a conference that is this year's power district in the state 4A classification.

The Hawks played Farmington last night in games that had great playoff implications. Had the boys won, that would have effectively clinched the 4A-1 West championship with a girls victory over the state's No. 3 Cardinals team improving the Hawks district pairings. This Friday the Hawks will be at home for the next to last time this season with Prairie Grove coming to town. The following week will see Senior Night in the Hawks' last home stand hosting the Huntsville Eagles.

Game summaries

Boys

Pea Ridge^59

Gentry^35

All five starters got in the scoring act for Pea Ridge to start the game. Trent Loyd's cagers racked up 18 points in the first frame. Pea Ridge did not have to rely on the deep shot as all nine goals came inside the arc led by senior Noah Peterson's three-bucket effort. Inside men Wes Wales and Brandon Whatley each scored a pair of goals with junior Greydon Edwards and Hunter Rains both canning solo goals. Gentry scored 9 to trail by 9.

In the second period, the Hawks cooled off a little but still maintained their lead by having all five starters score in the time frame, Peterson led again with a pair of goals with Edwards, Wales, Whatley and Rains each coming up with single shots from the field as they took a 30-22 lead into intermission.

The third quarter put the game away as the Hawks got their first 3-point shot to fall with Peterson accomplishing that score. Rains, Wales and Whatley scored twice from the field as Pea Ridge opened up a 45-24 lead headed into the last period. The Hawks' tight defense held the hosts to but a single score as the league leaders took an imposing 19-point advantage into the final period.

Mazon Harris threw in the Hawks' second trey of the evening in the fourth, with Harris adding a regular goal along with Wales, Peterson, Jarod Brewer and Logan Stewart. Stewart had the unique distinction of shooting the Blackhawks' only free throw of the evening, in what is likely a school record for fewest attempts. Stewart made the Hawks' game average 100% as he sank the only chance the Hawks got. Pea Ridge outscored the Pioneers 14-11 in the final 8 minutes to win by 24.

Peterson led three Hawks in scoring in double figures as the senior guard finished with 15. Wales scored 12 with Whatley adding 10. Other scorers were Rains with 8, Harris 5, Edwards 4, Stewart 3 and Brewer 2.

Girls

Pea Ridge^39

Gentry^32

Like their earlier matchup, the Lady Blackhawks got up on their west county opponents early but this time they held them off to post the important victory.

While the Hawks were only successful at two of six from the free throw line, they did hit a pair of treys to spark a 10-3 surge in the first period, Blakelee Winn scored half the total with a trey and two free tosses, with Ravin Cawthon hitting the other 3-pointer and Lauren Wright scoring from the field.

Wright and AIdan Dayberry provided the offense in the second quarter by scoring from behind the arc, but the Pioneers took a bit out of the Hawk lead by scraping together 8 points as Pea Ridge took a 16-11 lead at the break.

Gentry, who gradually scored more points in each successive quarter, racked up 9 points in the third period. Fortunately, the Lady Hawks were up for the challenge as they poured through 12 points to expand their lead to a sizeable 28-20 going into the final period. Winn led the breakout with two field goals and two free throws. Cawthon ripped another trey with Wright adding a field goal and Josey Goldberg a free throw.

Going back to a strategy that helped them upset the Hawks in December, the Pioneers used fouling to make their guests win it from the free throw line. While the Blackhawks had no field goals in the last period, they did ring up 11 free throws to keep Gentry at bay and secure the final 39-32 victory. Allisa Short made three of the charity shots with Winn, Wright and Goldberg converting two of their attempts while Dayberry and Cawthon had single shots to go in.

Winn led the way with 13 points, with Wright having 9, Cawthon 7, Dayberry 4, Goldberg 3 and Short 3

Sports on 02/05/2020

Print Headline: Blackhawks sweep Gentry; Boys go to 8-0 in 4A-1

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