Behind a dominant third quarter explosion, the Charleston Lady Tiger defeated the Bergman Lady Panthers in the first round of the girls 3A-1 regional tournament held at Waldron High School. The Lady Tigers defeated Bergman 44-32, and in doing so, earned a birth in the Class 3A state tournament that will be held on their home floor next week. After leading 16-15 at the half, Charleston went on an 18-4 run in the third quarter to break the game open.
The game featured great defense by both teams. As has been the trend over the past few weeks, Charleston again started the game cold from the field, having difficulty getting shots to go down. At some points, it appeared that the Lady Tigers forced the ball inside when the opportunity was not there, and put itself in foul trouble with charging violations. The officials appeared to call the game close on the perimeter as the Lady Tigers guards were called for contact fouls as they played aggressively against the Bergman guards.
But has also been the case all season, the Lady Tigers have made great adjustments at the half and have gone on to shut down opposing teams’ offenses and go on big scoring runs in the third quarter to put their opponents away. Such was the case on Wednesday. Charleston outscored the Lady Panthers 18-4 to increase their lead to 34-19 by the end of the third quarter. The run forced Bergman to play extremely agressively on defense, taking chances to get themselves back into the game. Bergman had to foul to stop the clock, and Charleston took advantage by hitting their free throws. Bergman struggled from the field and seemingly could not get shots to go down, and the result was a 44-32 win for Charleston and a date on Friday with Valley Springs. Valley Springs defeated Waldron 73-31 in their first round game.
Valley Springs, the tournament’s other number one seed, is currently ranked #23 in Arkansas across all classifications, and #3 in the state in Class 3A. Friday’s game will feature #3 ranked Valley Springs versus #4 ranked Charleston. Both teams will play in the state tournament next week in Charleston, and both teams want to win this game to have the higher seed in next week’s state tournament. The outcome of this game could have a profound effect on the pathway to the state semifinal and a shot at playing in Hot Springs in the final.
For an updated regional tournament bracket, click here to be redirected to Max Preps to view or download a copy.
The Charleston boys open regional tournament play today at 5:30 p.m., also against Bergman. The Tigers are a #3 seed in the tournament, and the Panthers are a #2 seed. The winner of this game will play Elkins on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Elkins defeated Mountain View by the score of 59-31 on Wednesday. On the opposite side of the bracket, #1 seed Valley Springs defeated Greenland 69-48 and will await the winner of the #2 seed Waldron Bulldogs and Clinton. Waldron and Clinton play tonight at 8:30 p.m.
Charleston must win today against Bergman to secure a spot in the state tournament next week. A win today will set up an interesting match-up against Elkins who Charleston defeated early in the season, but has lost its last three to the Elks.
Click here to be redirected to Max Preps to view or download an updated copy of the boys Class 3A-1 regional bracket.
The Charleston boys and girls teams have had great seasons, and now they are playing for state championships. Both teams need Charleston fans to show up in big numbers in Waldron to cheer their team to victory. Both teams are capable of winning and going on to great heights next week. Bergman, over three hours away, brought a large contingent of fans to their game yesterday, and their boys team, a #2 seed in the tournament, is expected by their fans to do well in the regionals. I expect Bergman to again have another large crowd, and Charleston needs the same from its fan base.