AAA sets

tournament sitesJONESBORO — The Arkansas Activities Association selected state and regional tournament sites as part of its winter board meeting Thursday.

No area schools will be among the sites for state basketball tournaments, which include Fayetteville, Class 6A; Hot Springs, Class 5A; Morrilton, Class 4A; Clinton, Class 3A; Melbourne, Class 2A; and West Side Greers Ferry, Class 1A.

Regional basketball sites include Blytheville, Class 4A East Region; Manila, Class 3A Region 2; Rector, Class 2A North Region; Melbourne, Class 2A Central Region; and Izard County, Class 1A Region 2.

Jonesboro will host the Class 5A state baseball tournament. Other state baseball sites include Fort Smith, Class 6A; Morrilton, Class 4A; Ashdown, Class 3A; Carlisle, Class 2A; and Izard County, Class 1A.

Brookland will host the Class 4A East Region baseball tournament. Other regional baseball sites include Clinton, Class 3A Region 2; Tuckerman, Class 2A Central Region; Carlisle, Class 2A North Region; and Izard County, Class 1A Region 2.

Softball state tournament sites include Cabot, Class 6A; Morrilton, Class 4A; Ashdown, Class 3A; Carlisle, Class 2A; and Izard County, Class 1A. No bid was received for 5A state softball.

Regional softball sites include Brookland, Class 4A East Region; Tuckerman, Class 2A Central Region; Carlisle, Class 2A North Region; and Izard County, Class 1A Region 2. No bid was received for the Class 3A Region 2 tournament.

State soccer sites include Springdale, Class 6A; Siloam Springs, Class 5A; and Harrison, Class 4A. No bid was received for Class 3A state soccer.

Only two track and field state sites were announced Thursday, Rogers Heritage for Class 6A and Prescott for Class 3A.

State swimming sites include Bentonville, Class 6A; Russellville, Class 5A; and Magnolia, Class 4A. The state wrestling tournament will be held in Little Rock.

State volleyball sites for next fall were also announced. Those include Fort Smith Northside, Class 6A; Marion, Class 5A; Shiloh Christian, Class 4A; Paris, Class 3A; and Quitman, Class 2A.

Free throws seal BIC victoryCHERRY VALLEY — The Buffalo Island Central Mustangs made all 10 free throws they attempted in the fourth quarter Tuesday night to beat Cross County 46-39 in 2A-3 senior boys’ basketball.

The Mustangs (9-8, 5-2 conference) outscored the Thunderbirds 13-6 in the fourth quarter for the victory. BIC led 10-4 after the first quarter and 23-17 at halftime, but Cross County rallied to lead 33-30 at the end of the third quarter.

Jaron Burrow scored 21 points and Jesse Kinard added 18 for BIC. A.J. Beale led Cross County with 19 points.

BIC (12-3, 6-0 conference) won the junior boys’ game 41-25. Nicholas Patterson scored 17 points to lead BIC and Aston Lemmons added 16 while making 11-of-12 free throws.

First half sinks RazorbacksBATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Trendon Watford scored 23 points and Cam Thomas added 17 as LSU rolled to a 92-76 victory over Arkansas on Wednesday night.

The Tigers made six 3-pointers and shot 50 percent (18 of 36) in racing to a 51-31 halftime lead with Watford scoring 13 points and Thomas 11. LSU shot 55 percent in the second half (16 of 29) to maintain the lead.

Darius Days scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Tigers (9-2, 4-1 Southeastern Conference). Javonte Smart scored 13 points and Mwani Wilkinson 11. Watford finished with 10 rebounds.

JD Notae led the Razorbacks (10-3, 2-3) with 22 points. Moses Moody added 18 and Desi Sills 14.

Steelers part ways with FichtnerPITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff flameout cost offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner and two assistants their jobs.

The team announced Thursday it would not renew the contracts of Fichtner, offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett, and secondary coach Tom Bradley following a 48-37 loss to Cleveland on Sunday night. The club also said tight ends coach James Daniels is retiring after 17 seasons in that position.

Head coach Mike Tomlin hinted at major changes on Wednesday after Pittsburgh dropped five of its final six games following an 11-0 start. The decision ends a long professional relationship between Tomlin and Fichtner. The two met as assistants at Arkansas State in the late 1990s and Tomlin hired Fichtner as a wide receivers coach shortly after replacing Bill Cowher in January 2007.

Fichtner was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2010 before being elevated to offensive coordinator three years ago after the team let go of Todd Haley following a playoff loss to Jacksonville.