HOT SPRINGS (KFSM)--Pea Ridge came out of Friday's championship game with an all too familiar feeling: that of coming up just short. The Blackhawks dropped a tight battle with Baptist Prep 59-51 to finish state runner up in the 4A ranks. In the fall, Pea Ridge also fell one win short of a title after losing to Warren in football.
The Eagles came out hot and Pea Ridge struggled to stop their two future division one players. 7'3" junior Connor Vanover posted a double double with 20 points and 11 rebounds while sophomore Isaac McBride also scored 20 points. But the Blackhawks showed some battle thanks to the senior class.
Led by Joey Hall's 16 points, including a buzzer beating three to end the first quarter, Trent Loyd's squad went on to shoot a remarkable 13/23 (56%) from behind the arc. Pea Ridge trailed by eight late in the third quarter before using some magic from deep to retake a 47-45 lead.
Baptist Prep, the defending state champ, closed the game on a 14-4 run to wrap up its second straight class 4A title. The Eagles finish the season on a 22 game winning streak, 30-0 against Arkansas opponents and 31-4 overall.
In just his second season, Loyd guided the Blackhawks to a 32-3 record. "We stuck in there, we created, we made plays for each other. Definitely not the outcome we wanted, but I feel like these guys did and what the guys in the locker room did tonight kind of represented how they played all year. And that was all out and left everything on the floor, and represented Pea Ridge with class and effort."f