Malvern Cubs advance to district tourney finals

(0) D.J. Culp for Malvern scores a big basket during the junior high boys district tournament in Arkadelphia. Photo by Gerren Smith(4) Jacoby Lock for Malvern shoots a trey from behind the arc against De Queen during the junior high boys district tournament in Arkadelphia. Photo by Gerren Smith(11) Jarbi Artis for Malvern pulls up to score over a host of De Queen defenders during junior high boys district tournament competition hosted in Arkadelphia.
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

Ready to cap off a big season on the hardwood, the hometown Malvern Cubs will play in the finals of the 7-4A junior high boys district tournament on Thursday, February 7, 2019 in Arkadelphia. The Cubs will face the Bauxite Jr. Miners at 7:15 p.m. in the boys district tournament championship game.

The Cubs prevailed in first round action against De Queen 62-52 on Saturday, February 2, 2019 to advance in tournament competition. In the semifinals, the Cubs got a little redemption and revenge and defeated host tournament team Arkadelphia 46-27 on Monday, February 4, 2019. Arkadelphia had defeated Malvern in both meetings during their regular season matchup. Now the Cubs have a chance to put the icing on the cake to capture the ultimate prize to play for the district tournament title in the finals.

Second year Malvern head junior high boys basketball coach Kendrick Smith with assistant coach Nick Brumfield have been pleased by the Cubs production throughout the year. Coach Smith really thought the Cubs performed some of their best overall basketball during these last two games in the tournament.

Coach Smith anticipates a competitive matchup on Thursday night in the finals and feels the Cubs have momentum going into their final game of the season by producing

"I thought we've been playing well and shot the ball better these last two games. Last night against Arkadelphia, I though we played extremely well and was ready to go. We've been locked in and loose since the conference tournament," Smith said.

The Cubs have stepped up their level of play during the tournament on offensively and defensively and Smith believes the team has grown overall to build positive and productive chemistry.

Thus far, the Cubs are 14-9 overall and finished the conference third to be the No. 3 seed in district. No. 4 seed Bauxite knocked off the No. 1 seed Nashville on Monday night to advance to the finals.

Coach Smith believes this Cubs ninth grade basketball team are a special groups of guys and very talented. Several of these players held Malvern capture the district title in football and aim to add another title for basketball if victorious on Thursday night in Arkadelphia.