LADY GOBLINS STATE CHAMPIONS DEFEAT FARMINGTON 68-54

Lady Goblins state champions Defeat Farmington 68-54

JEFF BRASEL

HDT | 3/24/2021

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Brasel

HOT SPRINGS — Saturday morning, March 20, the Harrison Lady Goblins once again were crowned the queens of Class 4A basketball as they defeated Farmington to earn the Class 4A State Basketball Championship.
This is the fourth time that the Lady Goblins and Farmington met this season. Harrison has now won two of the meetings.
The championship game was at the Hot Springs Convention Arena.
This marks the fifth time in Harrison basketball history that the Lady Goblins have won a title. The squad has been to the state championship game seven times winning five of those games.
Harrison was runner-ups in 1996 and 2005. The Lady Goblins had a good 10-year run during the previous trips to the state title game.
Harrison started the season playing some quality teams. The Lady Goblins played six teams in classifications larger than own. They defeated several playoff teams in larger classifications.
The Lady Goblins were 3-0 against Class 6A playoff teams and 1-0 against Class 5A teams.
Against playoff schools in Class 4A, Harrison finished the season 6-3.
Due to COVID-19, the Lady Goblins had to cancel three games this season. The complexion of the entire season changed. No tournaments were allowed to be played by Arkansas schools.
Harrison didn't cross the state line to play Missouri schools and in the Willard (Mo.) Four-State Classic. This marks the second time since the inception of the Lendel Thomas Classic that the event wasn't held.
The Lady Goblins started the season with a win over Bentonville West. A scrimmage game with Greenbrier turned into a real game and Harrison left with an eight-point win.
Cedarville’s game with the Lady Goblins was canceled before Harrison played Springdale Har-Ber. Harrison left with a seven point win on Nov. 17.
Two games were canceled because of the virus and the Lady Goblins had a three week layoff before taking the court against Mammoth Spring. Harrison defeated the Lady Bears and then sent Rogers Heritage home with a loss.
In the last non-conference game of the season, the Lady Goblins traveled to Baxter County to face arch-rival Mountain Home. The Lady Goblins left town with a 17-point win.
Harrison ended the non-conference portion of the season with a 6-0 mark.
After Harrison started in the 4A-1 play, the Lady Goblins found ways to win. Harrison had large wins over Prairie Grove and Gentry.
Looming in front of the Lady Goblins was defending Class 4A State Champions — Farmington. The Lady Goblins spanked Farmington by 14 points and then beat Berryville by 22 points.
The next opponent came into the game getting recognition at the time on the state level. Harrison left Springdale and Shiloh Christian with a one-point win.
Another one-point win was on the schedule as Harrison left Gravette after sliding by 47-46.
Huntsville was what the doctor ordered for the Lady Goblins. The team had an opportunity to flex its muscles and relax by downing Huntsville by 43 points.
Back to the grind, Harrison then defeated the future district tournament winner Pea Ridge by five points before leaving Berryville with an eight-point win.
Feb. 9 was the Lady Goblins’ last regular season game. Harrison defeated Shiloh Christian by 10 points in Goblin Arena.
After an easy winter, Mother Nature stepped in to create problems in the high school basketball world. The conclusion of the regular season was ended without finishing the last games. Some schools lack two conference games while most still had one left to play. Some teams had completed the entire league schedule.
Teams were seeded into the event and Harrison was the top seed from the 4A-1 east side. The team earned a trip to the regional tournament and a trip to the semifinals of the district event.
The begin date of the district tournament was moved ahead to get it started before more weather occurred. After the second round of weather, the tournament was to be played to the semifinals and the four teams in the semifinals would be the conference representatives. The conference would seed the teams backed upon the regular season league finish.
With that information, the Lady Goblins would be the No. 1 seed from the conference.
Things changed.
The Arkansas Activities Association pushed back the regional, state and finals back one week. This move allowed the 4A-1 to play its district event.
After taking its second extended break of the season, Harrison was back on the court two weeks later. The Lady Goblins fell to Farmington in the semifinals before defeating Berryville in the consolation game.
Harrison was now the No. 3 seed from the league into the Class 4A North Region Tournament that was held in Ozark.
Drawing the host in the first game, Harrison doubled up the Lady Hillbillies to assure themselves of a trip to the state tournament.
After facing Ozark, the Lady Goblins had fourth quarter struggles. The team had a large lead against Pea Ridge in the regional semifinals before losing it. The team led Farmington in the fourth quarter in the consolation game before losing that game.
Harrison had dropped three of its last five games heading into the state tournament.
As the No. 4 seed from the North, the Lady Goblins drew No. 3 Brookland from the East. Harrison won, 49-41, to move to the quarterfinals.
With the win, the Lady Goblins were facing the other Class 4A State Champion from last year. (Last season the final games in Class 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A were not held because of COVID-19. The AAA declared the two teams in the final game as state champions.) Star City was on the agenda.
The Lady Bulldogs were ahead of Harrison in the fourth period, but the Lady Goblins came back and secured the win.
Harrison found itself in the semifinals of the state tournament and for the second tournament in a row, it was to play the host team. Harrison took an early lead against Morrilton and never gave it up as the Lady Goblins were headed to the championship game in Hot Springs.
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