Central Arkansas Christian’s Mustangs ran their winning streak to six last week as Matt Hall’s debut squad won the Class 4A South Regional.
CAC, which opened the season 2-10, enters the Class 4A State Tournament at Lonoke this week 16-14 and champion also of the 7-4A District Tournament.
The Mustangs haven’t lost since Valentine’s Day at Ashdown.
"Unbelievable," said Lady Mustang coach Steve Quattlebaum, who coached the Mustangs to district and regional titles last year. "I thought they’d be better than most people thought they’d be, but what Matt has done has been amazing. He’s done a really great job."
As the top seed from the South, CAC has a bye in the first round of the state tournament and will play Friday at 5:30 in the quarterfinals against the winner of Thursday’s first-round game between Lonoke (third from the East) and Pottsville (third from the North). Should the Mustangs win, they would advance to Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. semifinal against the winner of Maumelle (first from the North) and Nashville (third from the South) or Stuttgart (fourth from the East).
The other half of the bracket includes Brookland, top seed from the East, against the winner of Lincoln (No. 2 from the North) and Bauxite (fourth from the South); and Monticello (second from the South) against the winner of Dollarway (second from the East) and Prairie Grove (fourth from the North). That semifinal is set for 7:30 Monday.
The title game will be next week at Summit Arena in Hot Springs. Game date and time will be set early next week.
In the regional last week, CAC beat Warren, 44-33; Bauxite, 47-27; and Monticello, 50-48. Quattlebaum’s team also upset top-ranked Monticello in the regional championship last year.
This time, Davis Allen’s two free throws with 4.4 seconds left were the difference after Monticello rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit. The Billies had tied the game at 48-all on a pair of free throws with 1:32 left. Allen drew the foul in the lane after Monticello missed its chance to break the tie.
Allen hit 14 to lead the Mustangs. Elijah Loring added 13.