By John R. Schirmer
The Nashville Scrapperettes lost a 66-65 heart-breaker to Monticello Feb. 23 in the Class 4A South regional tournament at Scrapper Arena. The loss ended the season for the Scrapperettes, who finished with a record of 24-5.
“We had a good season,” Coach Ron Alexander said Monday afternoon. “We accomplished more than we thought earlier. We kept improving all year.”
The Scrapperettes “lost a heart-breaker at regional. We played maybe the best game of the year. The girls played with a lot of heart but just came up a little short.”
Seniors Kendall Kirchhoff, Kaylea Carver, Alyssa Harrison and Asia Munn “gave it all they had. The seniors went out in style,” wrapping up their careers with two tournament championships, the Class 4A/3A blended conference championship and the District 7-4A regular-season championship.
Against Monticello, Asia Munn led the Scrapperettes in scoring with 26 points. Kendall Kirchhoff scored 24 and went 11 of 12 from the free throw line. Two of the free throws came after Monticello was hit with a technical foul in the fourth quarter.
“Kendall had a lot on her” against Monticello and throughout the season, Alexander said. She brought the ball down the floor and found scoring opportunities.
Carver stood out on defense all season and against the Lady Billies, Alexander said. “She was after them the whole game.”
The Scrapperettes jumped out to an early lead against Monticello and were on top 21-13 after the first quarter. Nashville led 33-23 at halftime. The Lady Billies started their comeback in the third quarter and tied the game at 46-46 going into the fourth.
Late in the game, the Scrapperettes took a 65-64 lead before Monticello scored with 7 seconds left.
“I’m really proud of how we competed,” Alexander said. “We were one of the best teams in southwest Arkansas. A couple of games kind of messed us up.”
Season highlights included summer team camps which saw the Scrapperettes losing only once, two wins and a third-place finish at the Ouachita Baptist University Tip-Off Tournament in November, championships at the Nashville Bankers’ Tournament and the Cossatot River Tournament, and the District 7-4A regular-season title.
Scrappers prepare for state
By John R. Schirmer
For the third time in the last four seasons, the Nashville Scrappers have advanced to the state Class 4A basketball tournament.
After traveling to Lonoke and Malvern on their two previous trips, the Scrappers will play this time on their home court at Scrapper Arena.
Nashville (25-3) will play Cave City or Subiaco Academy Friday at 8:30 p.m. in the tournament’s quarterfinals.
The winner will advance to the semifinals Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The state championship games for all classifications will be March 9-11 at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Dates and times will be announced by the Arkansas Activities Association.
The Scrappers qualified for state by defeating Dollarway 59-50 Feb. 22 in the Class 4A South regional at Nashville.
Going into the game, Dollarway “scared me to death,” Coach Damon Williams said. “They’re very quick. We played well enough to win.”
CJ Spencer led the Scrappers with 20 points, followed by Jamarta Gillam with 18 and Darius Hopkins with 11.
Dollarway led 11-9 in the first quarter before the Scrappers went ahead 28-19 at halftime.
Nashville built the lead to 45-29 in the third quarter and sealed the win in the fourth.
The Scrappers faced District 7-4A opponent Joe T. Robinson Feb. 24 in the regional semifinals and defeated the Senators 53-50.
“This was the third time we’ve played them,” Williams said. “The other games were close. We played well against them and came out with a 3-point victory.”
Hopkins was the Scrappers’ leading scorer with 21 points, followed by Gillam with 10.
Nashville led 17-12 in the first quarter and 34-22 at halftime. The Senators came back in the third quarter and took a 45-42 lead. Nashville rallied in the fourth and held on for the win.
The Scrappers hosted the Warren Lumberjacks Saturday night in the regional finals. The game was close throughout, but turnovers and missed scoring opportunities took their toll in the second half and Warren won the regional title 53-48.
“Their two big guys hurt us,” Williams said of the Lumberjacks. “We didn’t rebound with them well. We couldn’t get them outside the lane. They penetrated all the way to the bottom. Not getting on the boards didn’t equal victory.”
The Scrappers had 20 turnovers against Warren, compared to their average of 8-10, Williams said. “That hurt us badly. We didn’t handle their 1-3-1.”
Hopkins led Nashville with 14 points.
The game was tied at 12-12 after the first quarter. Nashville went on top 22-20 at halftime. Warren took a 37-30 lead in the third quarter. Both teams held brief leads in the fourth before the Lumberjacks held on for the win.
The Scrappers are preparing for their Friday night game against Cave City or Subiaco. Cave City enters the tournament as a two seed; Subiaco is a four. The teams will meet Thursday.
“We’re practicing for both,” Williams said. “Cave City has one guy who’s 6-8, another who’s 6-6. Big tends to hurt us.”
The Scrappers are the champions of District 7-4A and the runners-up from the South regional.
Nashville has won district three other times, including 1961, 1963 and 2001.