Greenwood Ready To Roll

Greenwood will board the bus and hit the road to Jonesboro for the 6A State Tournament in March.

State tournament sites were released by the Arkansas Activities Association last week for all spring sports. It was no surprise Jonesboro earned the bid for the 6A tournament, beating out Siloam Springs. The first three rounds of the tournament will be played March 3-8. The championship games will be played at Hot Springs’ Summit Arena on March 13-15.

"It was on this side of the state last year, so we’ve been prepared to do that all year," Greenwood girls head coach Clay Reeves said. "I hope we get to play three there and one in Hot Springs."

The Lady Bulldogs are 12-3, and 13 of those games were on the road or on neutral sites in tournaments. Their losses are to North Little Rock in the Bank of the Ozarks John Stanton Wampus Cats Invitational in Conway, to Fayetteville in the First Arkansas Bail Bonds Tournament in Mountain Home and at Northside on Tuesday.

"That’s just a few more games on the road," Reeves said. "We’ll be real happy to go on the road for those three games."

Greenwood hosted the 6A State Tournament last year in its inaugural season in the classification.

"We went to Paragould and Greene County Tech high school a couple of years ago, so we’re not brand new going to that side of the state," Bulldogs head coach Brian Martin said. "It was great to have it here last year with our own crowd and sleep in our own beds. We’ve got a lot of time between now and March, but when that time comes we’ll get on that yellow dog and make the trip and do the best we can."

Both the Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs are assured of making the 6A tournament. This is scheduled to be the final year of every team making the state tournament in every sport in 6A, although Bryant’s lawsuit against the Arkansas Activities Association involving conference alignments is still pending.

As it is planned now, Greenwood will be in the 7A/6A-Central again but only games against 6A schools Alma, Siloam Springs and Russellville will count for the postseason. Three of the four teams will earn trips to the postseason based on the old 10-point tie-breaking procedure against only those schools.

"From what I understand, this is the last time that everybody is guaranteed they’re going," Martin said. "Our goal is to get better for these next 10 games and have a good showing no matter who the opponent is."

Greenwood travels to Little Rock on Friday. The Bulldogs will play at Little Rock Catholic while the Lady Bulldogs will play at Mount Saint Mary’s Academy about 6:15.

Bulldogs Not Letting Down

The Bulldogs have lost to three ranked teams in the last two weeks in Little Rock Parkview, Little Rock Hall and Northside.

The task gets no easier with a road game at Little Rock Catholic on Friday before closing out the first half of the conference round-robin schedule at home against Russellville and Conway. It will definitely get the Bulldogs ready for their trek to Jonesboro in March.

"We’re playing the best teams in 6A in our conference so playing the best competition to get us ready for March for sure," Martin said. "Our conference is definitely going to get us ready for state. I feel like we’ll be prepared."

Playing against the best teams in the state leaves little margin for error for the Bulldogs, though.

"We have to focus," Martin said. "When we have a layup, we have to make the layup. Against a good team, a missed layup on one end is a made layup on the other end."