by Bobby Stapleton, sports
Izard County punched their ticket, this time a Golden Ticket, last Saturday, when they knocked off the Mount Vernon-Enola Warhawks at Morrilton in the semi-finals of the State Tournament. Ten years ago, the Izard County Cougars went to the Summit in Hot Springs and brought home the 1A State Championship trophy. This weekend, they will try to duplicate that achievement. The Cougars head back to the Spa City for a 7:45 p.m. tipoff on March 10, where they will face the Guy Perkins Thunderbirds.
The Cougars jumped out to an early lead when Justus Cooper lit things up with a baby hook shot in the lane and Dalton Dillard stroked a trey from the left wing. Cooper upped the lead with a step back jumper from the top of the key, making it an early 7-zip lead for the Cougars. Mt. Vernon-Enola finally got on the scoreboard at the 3:18 with a free throw and Dylan Tharp answered that with a pull up jumper off the free throw line, pushing the Cougar lead up to 9-1.
The Warhawks racked up back-to-back treys to close the gap down to a two point game, but Caleb Faulkner hit a jumper in the lane and Dillard hit one of two free throws to bump the lead to 12-7. The Warhawks capped the first stanza with a couple of charity tosses and the Cougars kept the lead, 12-9. Mt. Vernon-Enola made it a one point game with a bucket with less than half a minute gone from the clock in the second, but Faulkner drained a trey from the top of the key to make it a two possession game once again. The Warhawks picked up a bucket at the other end to keep it close, but Faulkner sank a couple of free throw to keep it a two possession game. The Warhawks picked up five straight points to claim their first lead at the 2:50 mark, taking an 18-17 lead. A little less than a minute ticked off the clock and Cooper stuck back a rebound and followed that with a traditional three point play, pushing Izard County back out in front 22-18, which held up until halftime.
The Warhawks opened the third quarter with six straight points, going up 24-22. Faulkner hit a jumper from near the free throw line to knot the game back up at 24-all, but a traditional three point play at the other end kept the Cougars trailing. Faulkner stole a ball on defense and took it back for the lay up, pulling Izard County back to within one. Another old fashioned three point play by Mt. Vernon-Enola gave them a two possession lead at 30-26, but a baby hook by Cooper off the right side and a floater in the lane from Faulkner tied the game 30-all with 3:40 left in the third. The Warhawks retook the lead with a trey, but Cooper hit a jumper from the top to keep it a one point game. Mt. Vernon-Enola stayed with the long range bombs, hitting their third trifecta of the frame to up their lead to 36-32 before Mike Uecker hit a reverse lay up to pull the Cougars back to within two. The fourth trey of the third quarter upped the Warhawks lead to 39-34, but Faulkner crashed the offensive glass and stuck back a rebound to close out the frame, pulling the Cougars back to within three points at 36-39.
Izard County had eight minutes to get things lined out and head back to Hot Springs, where Coach Kyle McCandlis has fond memories, since he was on the team ten years ago when Izard County last won the Championship. Uecker hit a jumper off the right side after getting the no look pass from Cooper, making it a one point game. The Warhawks made it four in a row as they nailed a trey to up their lead, and the Cougars started climbing back with a vengeance. Back-to-back buckets by Faulkner knotted the game to 42-all with 6:03 left in the game, then Cooper came back with two free throws at the 5:34 mark to put Izard County on top 44-42. With the Warhawks spreading the floor to pressure Izard County, Faulkner attacked the basket and hit the jumper in the lane to make it a two possession game at 47-43. Mt. Vernon-Enola never could put together back-to-back scores and Izard County hit free throws from there on to secure their ticket to the Championship game by taking a 52-48 win. For Izard County: Faulkner (22), Cooper (17), Uecker (6), Dillard (4), Tharp (2), and Everett (1).


On April 12, Lt. Charles Melton with the Izard County Sheriff’s Office, received a call from the Izard County Consolidated School Principal and Brett Stevenson, the School Resource Officer, after witnesses had come forward that had seen students at school with a gun, a week or two prior to April 12, at the Brockwell campus. Officers with the ICSO responded to Izard County Consolidated School and conducted an investigation the next morning, April 13. The investigation revealed that three juveniles had brought a gun to school a week or two prior to April 12. The gun was not found, but suspects admitted to having the gun on school property. All three of the juveniles were charged with possession of a firearm by a minor on school property.
In a statement released by ICC Superintendent Fred Walker on Monday afternoon, April 24, it read, “The safety of our students and staff is the highest priority for our school district. That is why we have employed a full time school resource officer for the past seven years who also attends all school events. This incident was investigated by school administrators, our school resource officer, and the Izard County Sheriff’s Office. The three students who have been charged have been suspended indefinitely and will not return this school year as the safety of our students and staff is paramount in an incident of this nature. This is an isolated incident and we have not had an incident of this nature in many, many years and I credit our school personnel and the cooperation of the Izard County Sheriff’s Office with making the safety of our students and staff the highest priority in our district.”

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CRASHING THE PARTY: ICC’s Coby Everett goes right at the defense during the ICC Jr. Cougar’s game against Hillcrest last weekend during the finals of the Bill McCurley Jr. High Tournament. Everett hit a game high 24 points. See full story and additional photos on page 7 in this week’s Pacesetting Times. Photo/B.Stapleton

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by Fred Walker
The Izard County Consolidated Cougars and Lady Cougars will tip off the 2016-17 basketball season with their annual Black and Gray intrasquad games on October 7 at Brockwell.
The games will start at 5 p.m. with a seventh grade girls game and followed by the seventh grade boys, junior girls, junior boys, senior girls and senior boys.
Admission is free and a Chili Supper is being held in conjunction with the event from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Each meal will cost $6 and all proceeds will go to the Kailey Moss Memorial Scholarship Fund.
For more information or to make a donation, call 870-258-7700.

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GOING FOR THE GREEN: ICC’s Cody Workman goes for the green on hole 7 during last week’s match at the Golf Course on Turkey Mountain in Horseshoe Bend. See full story, area scores and additional photos on page 5 of the August 24 edition of Pacesetting Times. Photo/B.Stapleton

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SOFT TOUCH: Jr. Cougar Chandler Smith goes for the running one hander against Western Grove last week. See full story and additional photos in the October 21 edition of Pacesetting Times! Photo/B.Stapleton

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The Izard County Cougars and Lady Cougars were both named Conference and District Champions. In the Championship game, the Cougars held on for the 50-48 win over the Norfork Panthers. For ICC: Walker (20), Gleghorn (10), Mosley (7), Markovic (6), Reynolds (3), Everett (2), and Jones (2). The Lady Cougars went on for the 48-32 win over the Norfork Lady Panthers. For ICC: Cooper (21), Jones (9), S. King (8), J. King (7), Sac (2), and Caraway (1). Photos/B.Stapleton

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Conference Runner-Up and Jr. District Tournament Runner-Up, Izard County Jr. Lady Cougars. Photos/B.Stapleton

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Calico Rock Jr. Pirates, District Runner Up and Conference Co-Runner Up

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CONFERENCE AND DISTRICT CHAMPIONS: The Salem Jr. Lady Greyhounds beat Pangburn 54-18.The Lady ‘Hounds jumped in front 13-0 and never looked back. Salem led 21-1 after one; 34-10 at the half; 48-15 after three. Sonni Martin led the Jr. Lady ‘Hounds with 25 points.

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The 2015 Kiwanis Pee Wee Basketball Tournament was held at the ICC High School in Brockwell on January. The annual all day tournament is divided into girl’s and boy’s brackets. The winners of the girl’s bracket were the Salem Lady Greyhounds and the second place winners were the Melbourne Lady Bearkatz. The winners of the boy’s bracket were the Cave City Cavemen and the second place winners were the Izard County Cougars. The Kiwanis Club of Horseshoe Bend congratulates the winners of this tournament and thanks all the participants and parents for their support. All proceeds from this tournament help support student scholarships.

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AERIAL COMBAT: Calico Rock’s Logan Sherrill goes in for the lay up after the steal as Cougar Michael Gleghorn fights to defend the shot. See full story and additional pictures in the February 4th edition of Pacesetting Times. Photo/B.Stapleton

by Bobby Stapleton
It’s a good thing gas prices have fallen.
The Arkansas Activities Association has awarded the post season sites for the majority of sports, and it looks like patrons in area coverage school systems will become road warriors.
In basketball, after Calico Rock, I.C.C, and Mammoth Spring get past the Senior Districts, which will be at ICC, it will be time to gas up the vehicle. The Regionals will be at Hillcrest from February 25 to February 28. The State Tournament will be held March 3 through 7 at Nashville, Arkansas.
For Salem, the District will be held at Tuckerman, the Regional Tournament will be held at Buffalo Island Central from February 25 to 28. The State Tournament will be March 3 through 7 at Pangburn.
For Melbourne, after hosting the District Tournament, the Regional Tournament will be February 25 through 28 at Rose Bud. The State Tournament will be held at Cassatot River in Cove, Arkansas, March 3 through 7.

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KEEPING THE PRESSURE ON: ICC’s Andy Norton applies the defensive pressure against Cotter last week. Photo/T.Stapleton
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Going to the rim: ICC’s Clay Mosley goes in for two points last week. Photo/T.Stapleton
See more pictures and the story in this week’s edition of the Pacesetting Times!

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