Billies, Lady Billies to again host 4A South tourney
While Drew Central cornered the market on the big news this winter with the Class 3A State Championships, Monticello has not been left out. The Billies, who generally host at least one regional or state tournament in some sport every year, have been awarded the 4A South Region basketball tournament in 2018.
The announcement was made during the Arkansas Activities Association Board of Directors winter meeting in Little Rock last Thursday. The top four teams, both boys and girls, from 4A, District 7 and 8-4A (Monticello’s conference) will meet at Dan Coston Field House Feb. 21-24 to determine which of those squads will represent 4A South at the 4A State Championships, the early rounds of which is to played at Brookland Feb. 27 to March 3 this year.
As in 3A (see accompanying story), the state semifinals winners will advance to the Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs. All 14 state championship games will again be played there March 8-10.
While the AAA has not determined which classes will play where as of yet, the schedule is for four state titles to be determined on both Thursday, March 8 and Friday, March 9, beginning at 2:30 p.m. each day, while the other six state crowns will be handed out on Saturday, March 10, beginning at 11 a.m.
For both the Billies, currently 8-10 overall, and the 15-4 Lady Billies, one win in the regional tourney on their home floor will earn them an opportunity to make the trip to Northeast Arkansas for a shot at their respective state championships. First things first, though.
Both clubs have eight regular-season games remaining on their schedules, plus the 8-4A district tournament at Dumas Feb. 12-17 in Dumas. Because of the structure of the 8-4A tournament, both Monticello squads could be assured of a regional berth before the district tourney begins (depending on the outcome of the last six games of the regular season) but, just to be sure, head boys’ coach Wayne Sherrer and head girls’ coach Bobby Lewallen would undoubtedly like to see their teams win at least one game at Dumas—if not more.
The AAA also decided spring sports tournament sites last Thursday. The 4A South baseball and softball tournaments will be played at Malvern May 3-5, with both state tournaments to be held at Nashville May 10-12. Horatio won the bidding process to host the 3A Region 4 tournaments and Smackover-Norphlet the chance to accommodate the 3A state championships in both sports.
Again, the state championship games in both baseball and softball will be played May 18-19 at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The baseball contests will be at Baum Stadium; the softball at Bogle Park.
The 4A soccer state tournament will be at Southside High School in Batesville for the second year in a row on May 10-12. The finals will be played at Arkansas’ Razorback Field May 18-19.
Last but by no means least, especially for those Monticello and Drew Central athletes who will participate, the 4A Track and Field State Championships will be held sometime during the week of April 30 to May 5 at Pocahontas, while the 3A meet will be run at Jessieville. This year’s Meet of Champions has been set for May 12 at Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, and the decathlon and heptathlon scheduled for May 15-16 at Cabot.