March 9, 2006 -- Posted at 4:45 p.m CST
CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR -- High school basketball teams in three Region 8 communities will be playing for state championships this weekend.
And they're all connected by U.S. Highway 18.
The teams are
The last time JHS made the finals of the state tournament was 1994, BIC won the title in 2005, and
The history of basketball at all three schools is very strong.
For Buffalo Island Central, this is their chance to defend the state title they won last year.
“The Mustangs are excited to be headed back to Alltel Arena this Saturday. We are looking for a repeat championship this year,” said Dr. Kima Stewart of BIC.
For the players, having the support of the community is the driving factor.
“I think the community knew that we still had something special with our team. Some people may think that we would not have made it this far, but our community is all ready,” said Marline Whitlow, a parent at BIC.
“Our community is proud of the kids. They’re good kids. We’re proud of them academically, and we’re proud of them athletically,” said Stewart.
For many of these seniors this is their last chance to make their mark on their high schools, winning this tournament would be the biggest thing for their high school careers.
“All five of our starters on the team are seniors. I think that makes them more ready, knowing that it is their last shot,” said Stewart.
“This is the paramount, the peak. It’s the best you can get to, and these kids have just hoped to play in a game like this one,” said Garner.
Community members say the players deserve all the support they are getting.
“These guys are obviously good at basketball, but more than that, they’re very good kids,” said Singleton.
Buffalo Island Central will play Altheimer Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.