Region 8 Basketball Teams Gunning for Championships

March 9, 2007-Posted at 5:00 p.m. CST

REGION 8---Lace up the sneakers. It's time for championship basketball as a number of area teams are playing for a state championship this weekend.

The Jonesboro Hurricane men's basketball team rolled out of town Friday morning bound for Hot Springs and they know the continued support of their fans will play an important part if they are to win a state championship.

"It's just like having a sixth man on the floor. If you got people yelling for you, kids notice that," said Jonesboro head coach Barry Bruitt.

Coach Bruitt's squad made it to the state finals last year, but came up short and this year the motto is unfinished business.

"Teams that win a state championship, you know they are remembered forever," said Bruitt.

The Hurricanes will face off against a familiar foe in the conference rival Forrest City Mustangs.

"We know how they play and they know how we play and it is just basically going to come down to smarts and staying solid throughout the game," said Jonesboro guard Logan Nutt.

In the regular season, the Mustangs beat the Hurricane twice, so going into the showdown the Mustangs and their fans feel confident.

"A blowout, three in a row, Mustangs will win three in a row against Jonesboro Hurricane," said

For Forrest City, it will be the first time they have been in the finals since 1980.

"All around here everyone has been hype and really supportive of our team and we just can't wait to go and see them play and win," said

While Jonesboro and Forrest City play Saturday, Greene County Tech squares off against Arkadelphia Friday afternoon. For over 80 Greene County Tech students they put down the pencils and picked up the pom poms to make the trip to Hot Springs.

"Our school is behind our basketball team 100 percent all the way and we are all pumped yeah," said GCT student Whitney Simpson.

GCT is gunning for their first ever men's state basketball championship and the school is full of Eagle pride.

"Everyone comes here and wears green and gold. This school has the most school spirit I have ever seen," said GCT student Ashley Wadsworth.

Fans are hoping for a victory, so that bus ride back is just as exciting as the game. Three other area teams are in Hot Springs for championship games including Hughes and Riverview boys' teams plus the West Memphis girls' team.