Basketball: CAC teams head to state

Central Arkansas Christian’s basketball teams are headed to the Class 3A State Tournament at Harrison this week.

Steve Quattlebaum’s Lady Mustangs (22-10) are the fourth seed from Class 3 A Region 3 and will take on Centerpoint (28-2), top seed from Region 4, at 7 p.m. today. The Knights have won 18 straight and haven’t lost since Dec. 29.

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The winner will advance to meet the winner of the first-round match between Valley Springs (25-11), second from Region 1, and Mountain View (20-8), third from Region 2, Saturday.

Matt Hall’s Mustangs (20-7) are the third seed and will take on Drew Central (22-10), second from Region 4, Friday at 5:30, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals against the winner of the opening-round game between Osceola (25-4), top seed from Region 2, and Paris (20-12), fourth from Region 1.

Last week’s regional tournaments at Lamar were the victims of the recent ice storm. The Lady Mustangs beat Atkins in the opening round, 47-39; to secure their state tournament berth. They lost in the semifinals to Lamar, 49-46; and to Episcopal Collegiate in the consolation game, 43-36. Episcopal had prevailed in the district championship, 63-36.

Against Atkins, CAC’s big second half was the difference. Livian Burton recorded 17 points, 14 rebounds and four steals; Riley Bryant added 13 points and four rebounds.

Against Lamar, the Lady Mustangs rallied from a 33-16 halftime deficit to pull within 41-34 before taking the three-point loss. Ava Knoedl led CAC with 28 points and two steals; Bryant added 10 points, six rebounds and four assists. Burton recorded eight rebounds and three steals.

Against Episcopal, Knoedl and Burton led the Lady Mustangs with 11 points apiece.

CAC’s boys also lost the district title to Episcopal, 68-58. In the regional, they knocked off Lamar, 59-47; lost to Mayflower in the semifinals, 59-48; and beat Jacksonville Lighthouse in the third-place game, 43-41.

Against Lamar, CAC led after three quarters, 38-32, but won the final period, 21-13, to mark the 14-point decision. Tyler Williams led CAC with 16 points. Steven Massey added 13 points and 10 rebounds; Andrew Haughaboo had 13 points and four assists. Grayson Wilson recorded 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Against Mayflower, the Mustangs fell behind after the first quarter, 10-3, and were unable to cut much into the deficit from there. Massey led scoring with 15 points; Haughaboo added 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Against Jacksonville Lighthouse, CAC led after the first quarter, 16-3; at halftime, 24-10; and after three quarters, 30-24. Lighthouse won the final period, 17-13, to pull within two points by the final buzzer. Massey had 19 points and six rebounds; Wilson pulled down nine rebounds.