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District basketball tournament this week -- maybe

February 17, 2021 at 3:00 a.m.

The impending winter storms that seem like a certainty to descend on northwest Arkansas created quite a shuffle in basketball scheduling last week.

The Hawks were set to have their last boys' home game and both the boys' and girls' last conference games of the season Friday., Feb. 12.

Farmington was scheduled to come in with the top seed in the 4A-West on the line for both girls' teams. The Hawks edged the Cards by 1 point earlier last month and were leading the West with one less loss than Farmington. If the Cardinals could have beaten the Lady Hawks by 2 points or more, then they would have had the West's top seed, the automatic bye into the district semifinals, and an automatic berth in the North Regional set for Ozark High School. Game called, seed to Pea Ridge and all the perks that go with it.

The games were canceled to allow the 4A-1 District tournament to begin early, which it did Friday, Feb. 12. In a girls' game, Gentry ended Huntsville's season 38-28, with Shiloh derailing the Blackhawks boys season in a 50-46 victory.

Blackhawks fell to Shiloh

The Blackhawks started the game like gangbusters, jumping out to a 14-0 lead, but were outscored 23-11 for the rest of the half to have just a tenuous 25-23 lead at the break. Shiloh outscored the Hawks 12-9 in the third period to assume a 35-34 lead headed into the final quarter. The private schoolers then outscored Pea Ridge 15-12 to secure a final 50-46 victory.

In Saturday's games, Shiloh whipped Prairie Grove 51-41 in girls' action with Gravette ladies advancing past Gentry with a hard fought 50-46 victory. Those games set up quarterfinal action Monday (if the games happened) with Farmington hosting Shiloh and Berryville hosting Gravette. The two teams who lost will have ended their seasons, but the victors will play in the semifinals, guaranteeing them at least three more games, including one in the regional. Pea Ridge was supposed to host the winner of Berryville/Gravette Tuesday, Feb. 16. Harrison was awaiting the survivor of Shiloh/Farmington.

On the boys' side Friday, besides the Shiloh/Pea Ridge contest, Harrison blasted Gentry 64-26 to end the Pioneers all time worst season. Harrison went on to surprise favored Gravette 69-66 on Saturday to earn a quarterfinal berth at Huntsville. Prairie Grove was to play at Shiloh in another quarterfinal game Monday. The winner of Harrison/Huntsville is scheduled to play at Farmington Tuesday with the winner of Shiloh/Prairie Grove girls traveling to Berryville, both games in semi-final action.

Championship games were set for Wednesday, Feb. 17, at the school with the higher seed. If the predicted winter weather arrives as forecast, the tournament scheduling will be anybody's guess until the roads are safe.

Whoever it is and whenever it is finally decided, the top four 4A-1 teams will be going to Ozark to take on the top four from the 4A-4, the other half of the North Region. It is scheduled for next week, but everything is kind of on hold until we have some results and better weather.

Morrilton is the best from the 4A-4 with a 16-3 overall mark and a 10-0 conference mark. Pottsville has the No. 2 seed in their district with a 10-7 overall mark and a 7-3 league record. Region host Ozark is the third seed at 15-7 overall and 5-4 in conference. The fourth seed in the 4A-4 is Clarksville who is 9-10, and 5-5. The 4A-4 is a six-team girls basketball league with the two other teams (Dardanelle 4-17, and Heber Springs 6-16) very unlikely to be in the regional mix.

Their undefeated conference champion Morrilton dropped a close game at Shiloh in November then lost by 10 at Huntsville in December. However, they did post an upset over 23-4 Nashville earlier in the season. Thier loss at Huntsville was their last loss of the season.

In the regional seeding, whoever wins the 4A-1 will play the fourth place finisher in the 4A-4. The 4A-1 runnerup will take on the 4A-4 third place with the 4A-1 third place finisher taking on the 4A-4 No. 2. The 4A-4 champ will take on the 4A-1 No. 4.

All teams winning first round games will be included into the 4A state tournament in Morrilton the week after. They will be joining the four teams from the East region and the four teams from the South region. The East region consists of the 4A-3 and 4A-5 districts with the South region having the 4A-7 and 4A-8 districts.

All region champs will have a bye into the quarterfinals, the final eight.

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