Magnolia, Ashdown, Nevada advance to title games in Hot Springs

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Ashdown coach James Smith led his Panthers to first place Friday at Prescott.


Southwest Arkansas will be well represented in the Arkansas boys state championship games in Hot Springs next week when Magnolia, Ashdown and Nevada play for the 4A, 3A and 1A titles, respectively.

Host Magnolia (23-5) exploded out of the gate for 28 points in the first quarter Saturday night, resulting in a 66-39 win over Westside. The Panthers will play Mills University Studies (28-4) for the 4A crown at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Dates and times will be determined Sunday.

There’s going to be a dramatic rematch in 3A when Ashdown (27-2) plays Drew Central (28-6) for the championship. The Panthers lost a one-point heartbreaker to Drew Central, when they played in the regional championship game.

Ashdown rallies past host Osceola

Ashdown trailed host Osceola 17-11 at the end of the first quarter Saturday, but rallied to take a 32-31 lead to the dressing room at halftime. The Panthers outscored Osceola 41-29 in the final half for the victory.

Nevada cruised into the 1A title game by routing Hillcrest, 56-38. Host Izard County finished the year unbeaten on its home court (17-0) with three lopsided wins this past week. The Cougars will be heavy favorites in this game, having won 41 games this season. The Blue Jays are 33-4 on the season.

Two other Southwest Arkansas schools were not as fortunate.

De Queen (28-4) lost in the girls’ 4A quarterfinals Friday night to Harrison, 45-42.

Clarendon (23-9) eliminated Lafayette County’s boys (27-7) in the 2A semifinals, 89-67. It will play England or East Poinsett County for the championship.

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