Looking back at the 2020-21 basketball season in Crawford County
This past season was challenging for all the teams in Crawford County and provided some good contests.
Mountainburg, Mulberry, Cedarville each reached their respective regional tournaments with the Dragons and Pirates advancing to state.
Here are the highlights of the 2020-21 season.
Best regular-season games
Waldron 65, Cedarville 62: Waldron's adjustments made the difference in the second half as the Bulldogs' 13-0 run allowed them to escape Cedarville during the conference contest. Cedarville finished with seven three pointers in the first half, but Waldron was able to curb the Pirates, who had just four 3-pointers in the second half.
Alma 50, Lamar 49: Drew Battles, who finished with 49 three-pointers this season, made a go-ahead, 3-point basket with 1:06 remaining to lift the Airedales to a win at Charles B. Dyer Arena. Alma trailed by four when Battles sparked a 10-0 run. But Lamar rallied back with another 14-3 run to lead 48-43 before Alma regrouped.
Best postseason games
Lavaca 49, Mountainburg 46: The game had 13 lead changes in the 2A-Region 1 boys championship finals before Lavaca took the lead for good late in the third quarter at the Diamondback Arena in Magazine.
Cedarville 55, Waldron 53: While Austin Cluck hit seven 3-pointers to finish with 23 points, the Pirates' biggest 3-pointer came from Lane Hightower, who hit the go-ahead bucket trey with 12 seconds left to lift Cedarville to the win in the 3A-Region I semifinal at Bergman.
Mountainburg Dragons: The team finished 20-9 overall played for a district and regional title, a first for the program. The Dragons also reached the state tournament. "I'm so stinking proud of every single one of them, and I'll go to battle with any one of them any day of the week," Mountainburg coach Michael McDonald, who was named the 2A-4 boys coach of the year, said. "These guys have a lot to be proud of."
Not-So Good Moment
Lydia Mann injured: The Lady Airedale team built their squad around Mann's talent but she was injured during an early nonconference game against Atkins. Mann had nine steals during that game.
Three bold predictions
1. Even though the Mountainburg Dragons lose two of their best scorers, the team will contend for another league title.
2. With Lydia Mann returning to the Alma lineup next season along with 13 returning players, the Lady Airedales will finish in the top half of the 5A West.
3. The Mulberry Lady Jackets will contend for a conference title.