Preview of Friday's conference games for Van Buren and Alma.
Alma finishes off the regular season on Friday when the Airedales and Airedalettes travel to Clarksville.
The Airedales can force a three-way tie for second place in the 5A-West part of the 6A/5A-1 with a win along with a Harrison win over Farmington. The Airedales, though, can finish no higher than the third seed and must beat Clarksville by nine points or more along with a Farmington loss to avoid the fourth seed. Clarksville can be the second seed with a win along with a Farmington loss.
Harrison has already wrapped up the outright overall conference championship as well as the top seed from the western part of the 5A-West in next week’s district tournament at Greenbrier.
The girls’ game means nothing as far as the final standings. The Airedalettes will be seeded fourth from the west in the 5A-West tournament and will play on Monday at 4 p.m. at Greenbrier against Vilonia, top-seeded from the east. Clarksville is seeded third and will play on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. against Morrilton or Greenbrier.
Farmington travels to Harrison on Friday night to decide the top seed from the west in the district tournament as well as the overall conference championship.
Harrison is 10-1 in the conference, and Farmington is 9-2 but both teams are 4-1 against 5A-West opponents inside the conference.
Alma games in the district tournament on Monday as well as Friday’s games will be broadcast on KHGG-103.1-FM with Toney McMurry providing play-by-play.
VAN BUREN HITS THE ROAD
After enjoying three home games in the last two weeks, Van Buren hits the road to Washington County for consecutive playing dates.
Van Buren travels to Springdale on Friday and to Tontitown to play Har-Ber on Tuesday.
The Pointers toughed out a 47-38 win over Rogers on Tuesday but didn’t pull away until the last two minutes.
“I’m glad we won the game,” Van Buren head coach Austin Trembley said. “We’re going to have to build on some strengths and learn from some things we need to do to get better. We’re going to have to play better on Friday night to win, I really do. I’m proud of our guys, but the important thing is that we come to get better the next two days because we’re going to have to.”
The win coupled with the loss by Rogers Heritage on Tuesday put Van Buren into sole possession of third place at 7-4 in the 7A-West, a game in front of Heritage and two games ahead of Bentonville West and Fayetteville.
“That’s a good position to be in,” Trembley said. “We’ll take it one game at a time and one possession at a time, and hopefully we can finish there in the top three. That would be really good.”
The Lady Pointers also took a step ahead of a challenger on Tuesday night with their 50-47 win against Rogers.
Jentry Myers led Van Buren with 21 points. Jamilyn Kinney scored eight of her 11 points in the fourth quarter when the Lady Pointers rallied from a 45-40 deficit.
“There was never any doubt in her’s or any of the other kid’s minds that we were going to find a way to get it done,” Van Buren head coach Chris Bryant said.
Van Buren remains in sole possession of second place at 10-1 in the conference, three games ahead of Springdale. A win on Friday would cinch at least second place and first-round bye in the Class 7A state tournament.