AAA suspends all high school sports
West Memphis vs. Jacksonville put on hold, Earle falls to England in 2A finals
By RALPH HARDIN
Following in the footsteps of the NBA, NCAA, and other sports organization, the Arkansas Activities Association has suspended play in high school sports across the state.
In a statement released last Thursday, the Arkansas Activities Association announced the state’s high school basketball championships will be postponed.
While games did continue through Thursday evening, Friday and Saturday’s scheduled games did not move forward. The move was later confirmed through the AAA Twitter account.
“After speaking with the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Education and the Governor’s office, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the rest of our basketball finals,” AAA executive director Lance Taylor said. “Our number one priority will always be the safety of our student athletes, coaches, officials, and fans.”
Also, its spring sports from March 15-30 have also been put on hold. On March 30, the AAA plans to reassess where the virus is at and go from there.
On Twitter, the AAA said updates will be provided as news and information develops.
But before the season was put on hold, the Class 2A State Championship game between the England Lions and the Earle Bulldogs took place as scheduled in Hot Springs Thursday night.
It was a battle from start to finish, with the defense dominating early. England went on a 9-2 run to begin the game, but Earle staged a comeback going into half-time.
However, the Lions were able to regain momentum down the stretch, establishing a 56-47 lead with two minutes left in the game. From there, it was a see-saw affair, with the Bulldogs trying to rally, but time was not on their side and England kept pace with the Earle offense. The final score was 68-57, giving the Lions the State Championship and putting the Bulldogs in the Runner-Up position.
Due to the suspension of play, the following games have been postponed indefinitely: 3A girls, Valley Springs vs. Mountain View, Friday, March 13, at 11:45 a.m.
3A boys, Osceola vs. Rivercrest, Friday, March 13, at 1:25 p.m.
4A girls, Star City vs. Farmington, Friday, March 13, at 5:57 p.m.
4A boys, Magnolia vs. Mills University Studies, Friday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m.
5A girls, Greenwood vs. Nettleton, Saturday, March 14, at 11:15 a.m.
6A girls, Fayetteville vs. Bentonville, Saturday, March 14, at 5:57 p.m.
6A boys, Conway vs. Little Rock Central, Saturday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m.
And the biggest local impact of the AAA’s move is the postponement of the 5A State Championship game originally scheduled for Saturday between West Memphis and Jacksonville. The Blue Devils and Titans were set to play Saturday afternoon in Hot Springs.