Melbourne, NLR top final ASM polls

Jonesboro’s Jesse Washington drives to the basket as Maumelle’s Joshua Denton defends during the second half of the Class 5A boys’ state championship game Saturday in Hot Springs. Jonesboro, which swept the Class 5A state championships, finished third overall in both the boys’ and girls’ rankings when the final Arkansas Sports Media polls of the season were announced Tuesday.

Probably the toughest and most trying high school basketball season in the modern era came to a close over the weekend as all 12 state championship games were played without any problems at the Bank OZK Arena inside the Hot Springs Convention Center.

Tuesday afternoon, the final Arkansas Sports Media High School Basketball Polls were released with all of the state champions the unanimous choices in their respective classification. And there was no big surprise on the teams who finished No. 1 overall in each poll.

On the girls' side, the Melbourne Lady Bearkatz finished the season atop the girls Overall Top 10 and was the unanimous pick as all 15 voters had them No. 1. The Lady Bearkatz won their third straight Class 2A championship on Friday and were the most consistent girls' team in the state all season long. They finished the season with a 29-game winning streak.

Melbourne's biggest victories during the regular season were over Fort Smith Northside, which finished as the Class 6A state champion, and a mercy-rule victory over Jonesboro, which finished the season as the Class 5A state champion.

And both of those wins were on the road.

Northside and Jonesboro finished second and third while 6A runner-up Fayetteville came in fourth. Harrison, the Class 4A champ, finished fifth. Bentonville, Conway, Batesville, North Little Rock and Mayflower finished sixth through 10th. Mayflower won the Class 3A title.

While all the state champs were unanimous selections at No.1 in their respective classification, not all the runner-up teams finished second.

In Class 5A, West Memphis lost to Jonesboro in the championship game but finished fifth in the final poll as the Lady Devils finished with a losing record.

In Class 3A, the Centerpoint Lady Knights lost to Mayflower in the championship game but were voted third behind Bergman, which lost to Mayflower in the semifinals. Bergman also finished with the most wins in the state, 38.

The North Little Rock Charging Wildcats began the year atop the ASM boys' Overall Top 10 and finished there after winning the Class 6A state championship over rival Little Rock Central. North Little Rock's only two losses all season were to Central, which won the 6A-Central conference regular season title.

All of the boys' state champions were ranked among the top three of their respective classifications all year long with the exception of Harding Academy. The Wildcats rarely got a vote in the Class 3A rankings and almost came out of nowhere to win the title.


State basketball polls

The final Overall Top 10 high school basketball poll in Arkansas and the top five in Classes 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A for the 2020-21 season, as voted by a panel of sports media from around the state for the week ending March 20. Ranking is given with first-place votes received, records, total points and last week's rankings:

BOYS

OVERALL

1. North Little Rock (15);21-2;150;4

2. LR Central;22-5;129;3

3. Jonesboro;24-3;125;6

4. Maumelle;20-6;93;9

5. LR Mills;25-3;82;—

6. Bentonville;22-3;73;2

7. Morrilton;20-7;45;—

8. LR Parkview;18-4;40;7

9. Magnolia;23-1;30;1

10. FS Northside;14-12;27;—

Others receiving votes: Sylvan Hills 9, Marion 8, Viola 8, Blytheville 3, Bryant 1, Monticello 1, Mayflower 1.

CLASS 6A

1. North Little Rock (15);21-2;75;3

2. LR Central;22-5;60;2

3. Bentonville;22-3;41;1

4. FS Northside;14-12;33;—

5. Bryant19-5104

Others receiving votes: Fayetteville 6. 

CLASS 5A

1. Jonesboro (15);24-3;75;1

2. Maumelle;20-6;58;4

3. LR Parkview;18-4;43;2

4. Sylvan Hills;24-4;32;3

5. Marion;18-4;10;5

Others receiving votes: Pine Bluff 5, Russellville 2.

CLASS 4A

1. LR Mills (15);25-3;75;3

2. Morrilton;20-7;60;—

3. Magnolia;23-1;44;1

4. Blytheville;28-5;31;2

5. Monticello;16-7;12;—

Others receiving votes: Berryville 3.

CLASS 3A

1. Harding Academy (15);20-7;75;—

2. Mayflower;26-3;60;3

3. Osceola;20-5;31;2

4. Lamar;21-8;26;—

5. McGehee;18-5;25;—

Others receiving votes: Dumas 4, Newport 2, Waldron 2.

CLASS 2A

1. Marianna (15);22-2;75;1

2. Caddo Hills;31-5;60;5

3. Earle;17-3;45;2

4. White Co. Central;24-8;29;—

5. Melbourne;19-8;10;—

Others receiving votes: Lavaca 4, Dierks 2.

CLASS 1A

1. Viola (15);37-6;75;—

2. WS Greers Ferry;27-7;60;1

3. Nevada;20-3;42;2

4. Izard County;27-8;31;3

5. Bradley;18-4;8;4

Others receiving votes: Ridgefield Christian 5, Ozark Mountain 3, New School 1.

GIRLS

OVERALL

1. Melbourne (15);32-1;150;1

2. FS Northside;26-2;135;3

3. Jonesboro;23-6;107;—

4. Fayetteville;19-7;92;—

5. Harrison;22-3;77;8

6. Bentonville;18-5;62;5

7. Conway;21-5;51;6

8. Batesville;22-3;45;4

9. North Little Rock;19-9;26;9

(tie) Mayflower;26-5;26;—

Others receiving votes: Rural Special 16, West Memphis 11, Greenwood 11, Vilonia 6, Farmington 4, Salem 3, Marion 2, Bergman 2. 

CLASS 6A

1. FS Northside (15);26-2;75;1

2. Fayetteville;19-7;56;5

3. Bentonville;18-5;39;2

4. Conway;21-5;34;3

5. North Little Rock;19-9;21;4

Others receiving votes: None.

CLASS 5A

1. Jonesboro (15);23-6;75;—

2. Batesville;22-3;48;2

3. Greenwood;23-5;33;1

4. Vilonia;25-3;32;4

5. West Memphis;11-15;31;—

Others receiving votes: Marion 5, LR Christian 1. 

CLASS 4A

1. Harrison (15);22-3;75;1

2. Farmington;23-8;59;—

3. Morrilton;22-4;31;—

(tie) Pulaski Academy;23-5;31;—

5. Star City;28-4;23;2

Others receiving votes: Pea Ridge 6. 

CLASS 3A

1. Mayflower (15);26-5;75;—

2. Bergman;38-2;54;1

3. Centerpoint;23-6;48;—

4. Valley Springs;27-9;31;4

5. Mountain View;22-4;15;3

Others receiving votes: Ashdown 1, Hoxie 1

CLASS 2A

1. Melbourne (15);32-1;75;1

2. Salem;22-8;60;4

3. Bigelow;23-7;43;5

4. Fordyce;23-4;27;—

5. Marmaduke;30-6;10;3

Others receiving votes: Quitman 5, Acorn 4, Cotter 1.

CLASS 1A

1. Rural Special (15);32-4;75;1

2. Norfork;22-12;59;—

3. Viola;31-9;45;4

4. WS Greers Ferry;25-9;29;—

5  Mt. Vernon-Enola;26-5;12;5

Others receiving votes: Kirby 3, Kingston 2.