By John R. Schirmer
For the second time in school history, the Nashville Scrapperettes will play for the Class 4A state basketball championship Saturday, March 12, at 6 p.m. at Bank OZK Arena in Hot Springs.
The Scrapperettes (32-2 overall) are ranked number two in Class 4A by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Their opponent will be top-ranked Farmington (32-1 on the season).
Nashville advances to the state finals after defeating Pulaski Academy 49-44 in double overtime in the 4A state tournament at Magnolia Monday afternoon. The Scrapperettes won their opening tournament game March 5, defeating Wynne 66-38.
Farmington enters the championship game after defeating Magnolia 59-44 and Prairie Grove 67-40.
The Scrapperettes played in front of standing room only crowds in both of their games at Panther Arena. Monday afternoon’s semifinal contest came with a raucous Nashville student section which stood for most of the game. Fans included the baseball, softball, Scrapper and Scrapperette soccer teams and the Scrapper basketball team
Softball girls arrived early Monday and camped in front of the arena, waiting for the doors to open in order to secure their seats in the student section.
The game with Pulaski Academy saw the Scrapperettes facing a team they had defeated earlier in the season at the Heavenly Hoops Tournament at Mount St. Mary in Little Rock. Nashville defeated the Lady Bruins 46-43 and went on to win the tournament by defeating Marion in overtime.
The Scrapperettes also won tournaments at Hot Springs and the Bankers Holiday Classic in Nashville.
They won the District 7-4A regular season and district tournament championships before going on to with the regional title at Scrapper Arena in late February.
Dean knew going into Monday’s game with PA that his time would have to battle for every point, and the Scrapperettes did just that.
Nashville and the Lady Bruins were tied at 38-38 at the end of regulation.
“The semifinals are supposed to be tough,” Dean said after the game. “We didn’t play very good in the fourth quarter, but we didn’t get rattled” as the Scrapperettes played two overtime periods of four minutes each.
“Defensively, we played very well. We rebounded very well. In overtime, we did just enough to win,” Dean said. “The whole team contributed. It was a team effort.”
The victory came after some uncharacteristic turnovers and missed free throws by the Scrapperettes. Dean said the team managed to win despite the missed shots at the free throw line.
Kyleigh Scoggins was the leading scorer for the Scrapperettes with 17 points against the Lady Bruins. Lauren Carver added 13, with eight from Honesty Taylor, including key two-pointers at the end of the second overtime/
In the victory over Wynne, Scoggins scored 19 points. Sidney Townsend recorded 13, with nine from Carver and eight from Olivia Dean.