After an exciting week of district tournament championships, eight teams, four boys and four girls teams from each district now move on to the regional tournaments held around the state. The regionals are the next step toward each team’s ultimate goal of winning a state championship. Four teams, two boys and two girls teams from each region will qualify for the state tournament that will be held next week at Charleston High School. Teams will ultimately advance to the state finals for boys and girls that will be held a week later at Bank OZK Arena in Hot Springs on Friday, March 13.
This week, four regional tournaments will be held in Waldron, Jessieville, Searcy (Harding Academy), and in Monticello (Drew-Central). In this article, Resident Press will preview the teams and match-ups in the Waldron regional. The Waldron regional will feature teams from the Class 3A-1 (West) conference and the Class 3A East.
In the boys brackets, Elkins and Valley Springs are the number one seeds in the tournament. The number two seeds are Bergman and the host school, Waldron Bulldogs. The number three seeds are Charleston and Clinton. Rounding out the boys field are number four seeds Mountain View and Greenland.
The boys side of the Waldron regional brackets include two teams from the top five ranked teams in the state in Class 3A: number one ranked Valley Springs, and number five ranked Elkins, Just outside of the state’s top five is number six ranked Bergman. So, the boys brackets in this regional will feature a tough field, just as on the girls side of the regional brackets. Teams that can survive and advance to the state tournament will be heavily regarded as teams to beat next week in Charleston.
The boys tournament will open on Wednesday, February 26 with the following games:
Game 1: #1 Elkins vs. #4 Mountain View, 5:30 p.m.
Game 3: #1 Valley Springs vs. #4 Greenland, 8:30 p.m.
Game 2: #2 Bergman vs. #3 Charleston, 5:30 p.m.
Game 4: #2 Waldron vs. #3 Clinton, 8:30 p.m.
For a copy of the Class 3A-1 boys regional brackets, click here to be re-directed to Max Preps to view or download your copy.
In the girls bracket, play will begin on February 26. Charleston and Valley Springs are the number one seeds in the tournament. The number two seeds are Mountain View and Elkins. The number three seeds are West Fork and Rose Bud, and the four seeds are Waldron and Bergman.
Game 1: #1 Charleston vs. #4 Bergman, 4 p.m.
Game 3: #1 Valley Springs vs. #4 Waldron, 7 p.m.
Game 2: #2 Mountain View vs. #3 West Fork, 4 p.m.
Game 4: #2 Elkins vs. #3 Rose Bud, 7 p.m.
For a copy of the girls Class 3A-1 regional brackets, click here to be re-directed to Max Preps to view or download your copy.
The Class 3A-1 regional girls tournament features three of the top four teams in the state in Class 3A: Number one-ranked Mountain View, number three-ranked Valley Springs, and number four-ranked Charleston. Bergman is ranked just outside the group at number six. Any team that survives the Waldron regional will be a strong contender in the state tournament, having already faced in regional play several of the top five ranked teams in the state.
Charleston First Round Games in Boys and Girls Regional
The Charleston Lady Tigers will open the tournament with a 4 p.m. game on Wednesday versus the Bergman Lady Panthers. Bergman’s colors are blue and gold and their school is located just northeast of Harrison. Bergman will travel 3 hours and 20 minutes to play in the Waldron regional. Bergman’s conference includes Mountain View, Rose Bud, Valley Springs, Marshall, Clinton, and Green Forest. The Lady Panthers finished the regular season 26-11 overall and 7-5 in conference play. Bergman averages 53.5 points per game shoots approximately 34% from the field. The Lady Panthers average 28 rebounds per game, as well as 7.3 steals per game. Bergman is ranked 33rd in Arkansas across all classifications, and 6th in Class 3A, according to Max Preps. Bergman and Charleston both played one common opponent, that being Lincoln on November 11. Bergman played Lincoln as a non-conference game in the Green Forest Queens of the Court Tournament where they defeated Lincoln 59-48.
The Charleston boys will also open the tournament versus Bergman. The Tigers will play the Panthers on Thursday, February 27 at 5:30 p.m. The Panthers are 30-7 overall and finished the regular season 9-3 in conference play. Bergman finished their conference regular season in third place behind first place Valley Springs who was 11-1, and second place Clinton who was 10-2. The Bergman boys are ranked 40th in Arkansas across all classifications and are ranked 6th in Class 3A. In common opponents with Charleston, Bergman lost to Waldron on December 8 in the UARM Classic by the score of 62-55. On December 11, the Panthers won a non-conference game against Greenland, 64-47. As of the publication time of this article, stats were not available with Max Preps for Bergman.
Every team in the Waldron regional has had a good season and has hopes of moving on to the state tournament. The top objective for every team is to win their first game in the regional tournament. A first round victory will ensure a team’s qualification to advance to next week’s state tournament. Two victories in the tournament will seed a team higher in the state tournament and give them a more favorable path in the tournament. But one thing is for sure, from this point on, there are no weak teams or easy games. Every team has had a winning season, and every team is a tough out.
It is the time of year where players enter each game knowing that it could be their last. Everyone wants to keep playing. No one wants to feel the sudden loss of defeat and know that they will be cleaning out their lockers for the last time this season. And for seniors on each team, it is that much more important to every senior who has invested their high school careers to get to this point.
It is the stuff that lifelong memories are made from; it can be the greatest time of a player’s life, and it can also be one that a player remembers for the rest of his or her life for all the wrong reasons. It is these anxious moments and circumstances that motivates each player and coach to give it every thing they have. It is what makes post-season play so special.
Congratulations to all of the teams in this year’s regional tournament, and best of luck in your quest to make the state tournament. And Resident Press will be there to tell the story.