Leader Blues

Saturday, October 31, 2009

SPORTS >> Fast final curtain falls on local teams

Jenny Evans hits a return for the Cabot Lady Panthers in recent action.

Leader sportswriter

The Sylvan Hills Lady Bears couldn’t make their successful regular season carry over into the state tournament.

No. 4 seed Central Arkansas Christian beat Sylvan Hills 3-0 in the 5A first round Tuesday at Siloam Springs.

The Lady Bears (15 -6) went undefeated in conference to claim their second straight 5A-Southeast title during the regular season, but found a tough, opening-round opponent in the Lady Mustangs, who rushed out to a 2-0 lead by winning each of the first two games 25-9.

Sylvan Hills fought hard to stay alive in Game 3 but came up short 25-19.

“I told the girls that of the 16 teams playing today, only one of them will end the season with a win,” Lady Bears coach Harold Treadway said. “Down the road, a lot of people will only remember how things went in the tournament, but when they look
back they’re going to know that you have to have a good year just to get there.”

Tuesday was the final match for seniors Dee Dee Lewis, Tanisha Romes, Tyler Pearson, Laura Roberts and Brooke Frehenback.

“There wasn’t really a superstar player among the five of them, they were just a group of girls that played really well together and complemented each other,” Treadway said. “I’m going to miss all of them, and I missed not getting to coach them for their entire senior year.”

Treadway was absent for much of the regular season while serving his third tour in Iraq with Air National Guard. Assistant Laura Allred led the Lady Bears for the bulk of their successful conference run.

The Lady Bears, along with Beebe and North Pulaski, will play in an all-new conference next year with Little Rock Christian, CAC, Batesville and Vilonia.

“It’s going to be a tough conference,” Treadway said. “But it will be better for everyone in the conference. It will help those four teams that make it to the state tournament. I’m excited about the girls we have coming back, and I’m excited about the conference as well.”

The Cabot Lady Panthers had the misfortune of drawing defending state champion Bentonville in the first round of the 7A tournament in Van Buren on Tuesday.

The Lady Tigers, the 7A-West’s No. 1 seed, downed the Lady Panthers 25-13 and 25-16 in the first two games before closing out the match with a 25-20 victory in Game 3.

For Cabot, it was the end of an exciting road just to make the postseason.

The Lady Panthers earned the 7A-Central No. 6 seed with a come-from-behind victory over Van Buren in the final conference match of the season.

Benton ended the Jacksonville Lady Red Devils’ season Wednesday night with a 3-0 victory in the quarterfinal round of the 6A tournament in Jonesboro.

The Lady Panthers, the No. 1 seed from the 6A-West, advanced to the semifinals by winning 25-8, 25-11 and 25-17.

For the Lady Red Devils, it was the end of a successful season in which they earned a No. 4 seed out of the 6A-East and handily defeated Little Rock Fair 3-1 in Tuesday’s opening round. Jacksonville won the first two games 25-11 and 25-12, but fell 24-26 in Game 3.

The Lady Red Devils put the match away 25-18 in Game 4 to advance.

The North Pulaski Lady Falcons ended their season with a 3-0 loss to Alma in the 5A first round on Tuesday.

The Lady Falcons, the 5A-Southeast’s No. 2 seed, took a decisive 25-9 loss in Game 1 before making things close in the second game, losing 25-23. The Lady Airedales, the No. 3 seed from the 5A-West, won 25-18 in Game 3 to advance to the quarterfinal round, where they fell to Wynne 3-1 on Wednesday.

5A-Southeast No. 3 seed Beebe lost its first-round match with Greenwood 3-0 on Tuesday.

The Lady Bulldogs, the 5A-West’s second seed, won 25-14, 25-8 and 25-6, and advanced to the semifinals Wednesday with another shutout over Nettleton.