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ICYMI: A recap of Texarkana area sports stories this week

by Jason Hopkins | March 18, 2023 at 10:00 p.m.
Arkansas High's Telly Wells, right, runs during an event Wednesday, March 16, 2023, during the Oil Belt Relays in El Dorado, Ark. Wells took second in the 200-meter dash, where he placed second with a blazing time of 22.44, which qualifies him for the state meet. (Photo courtesy of El Dorado News-Times)

Rain wreaked havoc on many games and events this week, but that didn't stop Texarkana teams and its athletes from making headlines.

Arkansas High's boys and girls track and field teams traveled to El Dorado to take on some incredible talent in the Oil Belt Relays.

They didn't disappoint.

They both finished in third place against the stacked field, and Telly Wells had a blazing time of 22.44 in the 200-meter dash, which qualifies him for the state meet.

Pleasant Grove's boys and Texas High's girls showed out during the Rick Rogers Memorial PG Classic at Northridge Country Club -- both taking the crown.

Ty Waid and Ryan Wardlaw were part of what was arguably one of the most exciting baseball games in the area this week when Arkansas High edged Ashdown, 9-8, on the road.

Waid added two more home runs to his season total and Wardlaw connected on a grand slam in the back-and-forth contest.

Here's a look at what happened this week that you may have missed in our editions:


Little Britches Rodeo comes back to Texarkana

Little Britches Youth Rodeo Competition on Saturday and Sunday made its way through the Twin Cities for the second year in a row.

According to the competition's coordinator, Toby Martin, the rodeo had approximately 55 participants who showed off skills in the events of barrel racing and pole bending.

"It's the oldest youth rodeo in the United States. It started way back before all these little side deals started popping up," Martin said.

Martin said the rodeo competition has been around for 50 years and has participants from Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

PG's Jackson makes visit to Arkansas

Pleasant Grove defensive lineman Lance Jackson made a trip to Fayetteville this past weekend as Arkansas began hosting numerous top recruits in the nation.

Lance Jackson, who stands at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds and is part of the Class of 2025, is the younger brother of former Pleasant Grove standout and current Arkansas defensive end Landon Jackson.

The Texarkana Gazette co-Defensive Lineman of the Year finished the 2022 campaign with 64 tackles, including 11 for a loss, two sacks and a blocked kick. He also was named to first team on defense on the 2022 7-4A All-District Team.

Genoa takes two over weekend

Down 4-0 early, Genoa Central found its groove in the third inning to knot the score and two more in the sixth to rally for a 6-4 win over Huntsville in its early game on Saturday.

With the bases juiced in the fourth, Joshua Kirkland and Riley Mudford drew walks to force the Dragons' first two runs of the game and Connor Reed belted a two-run double to settle the score at 4-all.

In the sixth inning, Cole Gammon drove in Lane Morton with an RBI-single and later scored after Braxton Robertson got a hit.

Reed and Lane Jeane led the Dragons with two hits apiece. Reed also had a team-high two RBIs.

Genoa Central edged Lincoln in the second game, 8-6, after rallying in the middle innings and survive a seventh-inning scare.


Column: Hooks was second-best team

I may be climbing out a limb -- I've definitely done that before -- but I believe the Hooks Hornets was the second-best in Class 3A this season.

Number 2.

Everyone I've talked to says state champion Hitchcock, ranked No. 2 in the final poll, was head-and-shoulders above the other three teams, including Hooks.

And unfortunately, the Hornets (32-6) caught the feisty Bulldogs (31-7) in the semifinals and not the finals.

"It would have been nice to open up the state tournament with Lytle or Childress to see how we matched up," said Hornets head basketball coach Michael Jackson. "Unfortunately, that wasn't possible and things played out the way they did."

PG boys, THS girls win golf memorial

Pleasant Grove boys and Texas High girls golf teams claimed the top spots of the Rick Rogers Memorial PG Classic at Northridge Country Club this week.

Pleasant Grove shot a team score of 350 -- six shots ahead of second-place Texas High -- with Landon Prejean leading the Hawks with an overall score of 80.

Texas High's Will Davis shot a tournament low 78.


AHS girls blank Hope, 1-0

Arkansas High's varsity girls soccer traveled up Interstate 30 and defeated Hope, 1-0, on Monday evening.

Mayhli Drumm, a sophomore, netted the Lady Razorbacks' goal.

Waid's 2 HRs, Wardlaw grand slam lift AHS

Ty Waid added two more home runs to his season total and Ryan Wardlaw jacked a grand slam to help lead Arkansas High past Ashdown, 9-8, on Monday night on the road.

The Razorbacks traded runs back and forth with Ashdown for the first two innings, with the Panthers having a 6-3 favor going into the third, where neither team scored.

Wardlaw connected on his four-bagger in the fourth inning to help Arkansas High take the lead, but would be short lived when the Panthers re-took the advantage with four runs in bottom of the frame.


Nashville girls No. 6 overall in state

The 2022-23 high school basketball season came to a close over the weekend as 12 state champions were crowned at the State Finals held inside Bank OZK Arena, part of the Hot Springs Convention Center.

The final Arkansas Sports Media High School Basketball Poll was released Tuesday afternoon with little change at the top of the boys' and girls' overall rankings. Five of the six girls' champions were already ranked No. 1 going into the postseason while only two of the boys' champions were atop their respective classification.

Nashville girls finished second in the Class 4A poll and sixth in the overall rankings. The Scrapperettes finished the season 29-4.

PG celebrates Senior Night with win

Pleasant Grove defeated Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill, 3-1, Tuesday in varsity boys soccer action at Hawk Stadium.

The victory came on Pleasant Grove's Senior Night. Nine Hawk seniors were honored during the match.

Andrew Hutcheson, Landon Beck and Hayes Lawrence all recorded a goal for Pleasant Grove, with Bennett Solomon etching an assist.

"It's so easy to celebrate this group of seniors," said Hawks coach Christa Henry "They should all be proud of the legacy they have built.

THS opens district with loss

Texas High opened District 15-5A baseball action against Hallsville and the Tigers came out on the short end of a 9-2 decision on a cool and windy Tuesday afternoon at Tiger Field.

The Tigers slip to 7-4 overall while the Bobcats climb to 9-5-1.

"It was a disappointing loss," said Texas High coach John McClure. "I don't think we competed as well as we have all year."

Walk-off hit sends PG past Fouke

Adi Koller raced home with the winning run on Hailey Allen's walk-off RBI single to give PG an 8-7 win over a talented and tough Fouke team Tuesday night at Hawk Field.

A back-and-forth battle between two teams with playoff aspirations produced big hits, big plays and clutch pitching. Both teams came from behind twice to knot the score at 7 going into the final stanza.

PG, which opens district play at home against North Lamar Friday, improved to 9-8-1. Fouke, which got on the softball field eight days ago, thanks to a 32-5 state quarterfinalist basketball team, dropped to 1-2.

AHS boys fall to Hamburg

Arkansas High got some big plays defensively from goalie Alex Sexton, but it wasn't quite enough as the Razorbacks fell to Hamburg, 3-1, on Tuesday night.

Sexton finished the game with seven saves.

Danny Ruelas scored the Razorback's lone goal, which was assisted from Christian Vargas.

AHS girls shut out Hamburg

Arkansas High's girls soccer posted their second straight shutout win after a 5-0 victory over Hamburg on Tuesday evening.

Sophomore Mia Ruelas got the Lady Backs rolling five minutes into the second half when she nailed a free kick, putting the home team up, 1-0.

Mayhli Drumm, who is also a sophomore, later booted in a shot from the 25 and another from outside of the 30. Diana Hernandez scored off a cross from Aiden Harris in the last 15 minutes before Harris sealed the game in the last 10.

Ashdown routs Camden Fairview

After giving up a run in the first inning on a wild pitch, Ashdown scored four in the second and never looked back en route to a 9-3 win over Camden Fairview on Tuesday.

Braeden Walton led off the fourth inning with a double and later scored on a Nash Brown single to right field. Leland Garrett later drove in two runs on a hard-hit single to left and Grayson Porter drove in the final run of the frame with a sacrifice fly.

De Queen cruises past Hope

De Queen took advantage of eight errors and scored all the runs it would need in the first three innings to take down Hope, 13-6, on Tuesday.

De Queen secured the victory thanks to seven runs in the third inning. The rally was led by singles by Eastan Patrick and Logan Potrishen and an error on a ball put in play by Sam Graham.

Eastan Patrick, Konnor Shelton and Bruce Wise led the Leopards in hitting with two hits apiece. Patrick and Tye Lindey also had two RBIs.

James Bowie falls to McLeod

James Bowie fell behind early and couldn't come back in a 9-4 loss to McLeod on Tuesday.

McLeod's onslaught continued as it scored in each inning, including three in the second.

James Bowie put up three runs of its own in the third inning, however, when Gunner Robinson had a three-run home run. Robinson went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the visitors in hits.

Atlanta edges Redwater

In a closely contested game, it was Atlanta that came out on top in the end, defeating Redwater, 5-4, on Tuesday.

The Dragons lost the game despite out-hitting Atlanta, 14-6.

The Rabbits scored two runs in the first inning, one in the third and rallied to take the lead in the sixth with two runs. Redwater scored one each in the second, third, sixth and seventh innings.


AHS rolls past Prescott

It was a fun, quick evening for Arkansas High and the fans on a rare Wednesday night at home in a non-conference tilt, as they handled Prescott with ease by way of the mercy-rule in five innings, 15-3.

Arkansas High (6-1) posted multiple runs in all four innings, highlighted by a seven-run onslaught in the third inning to bust the game open.

Prescott (2-5) kept things close after trailing just 5-3 through the first 2 1/2 innings. Pierce Yates' RBI groundout in the first inning off Arkansas High starter Nate Wall scored Talan Smith, who led off the game with a double.

AHS boys, girls finish third at relays

Arkansas High's boys and girls took on some stiff competition on Wednesday at the Oil Belt Belt Relays, including defending Class 5A state champion El Dorado, as both teams battled to a respectable third-place finish.

Arkansas High's boys totaled 103.16 points as Magnolia took the top spot with 225.08 points and El Dorado coming in second with 174 points.

The reigning state champion Lady Wildcats won the girls contest with 231 points, followed by Magnolia (149.50) and Arkansas High (123.50).

Former Texarkana College skipper Van Horn moves up win list

The University of Arkansas head baseball coach Dave Van Horn passed Andy Lopez and Tony Robichaux for the 30th-most wins recognized by the NCAA during their sweep against Louisiana Tech.

He surpassed the coaches after the Razorbacks' 7-4 win on Friday in the first game of the series and now sits at 1,180 career victories.

Van Horn's last 30 seasons at Arkansas, Nebraska, Northwestern (La.) State and Central Missouri State count toward his win total. He also won 214 games as a junior college coach in Texarkana that do not count toward his NCAA total.


TAMU-T tennis keeps winning

Texas A&M University-Texarkana made sure to send senior Fernando Martinez off the right way, sweeping Howard Payne University at the Texas High Indoor Facility on Senior Day.

The Eagles (10-6) easily took five singles matches and two doubles for a 7-0 win over the visiting school.

Martinez was the lone senior on this year's program.

The Texas A&M University-Texarkana women earned their fourth win in five matches Thursday with a sweep of Howard Payne at the Texas High Indoor Facility.

The Eagles (8-10) swept all four singles matches then picked up a fifth point with the majority of doubles wins.

PG grad Galvan earns GAC honor

After a stellar performance against ninth-ranked Southern Arkansas, former Pleasant Grove and current Henderson State standout Ryan Galvan was named the Great American Conference co-Pitcher of the Week.

Galvan outdueled SAU's Jeremy Adorno -- his first-ever collegiate loss -- in the first game of the series while limiting the Muleriders to just one run and five hits over six innings. Adorno's career record on the mound is now 18-1.

He also struck out a season-high eight batters and lowered his ERA to 2.36.


PG girls top North Lamar

A blanket-wrapped crowd battled the frigid night, but the bats were sizzling as Pleasant Grove rallied from an eight-run deficit to drop North Lamar, 13-11, in a District 14-5A opener at Hawk Field Friday night.

Sophomore Sarah Hackleman delivered a towering, three-RBI, two-out homer to center in the fifth and then slammed the door shut on the mound the next two innings to give Pleasant Grove's seniors their first win over the Pantherettes.

Freshman catcher Jacklynn Smith came up with a pair of two-out hits to score twice and drove in an insurance run in the Lady Hawks' final at-bat. Smith also gunned down speedy centerfielder Danika Heuberger's attempt to steal third in the sixth to kill off a nascent rally.

Senior shortstop Adi Koller essentially played on one leg after she tripped while crossing the plate in the first. She sat out one defensive series and then hobbled back on the field. She twice managed to nail a lead runner at second late in the contest. She also delivered a two-run RBI double to the gap in left-center to keep alive a nine-run, two-out rally in the fourth.

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