The Izard County Cougars punched their ticket to the 1A State Championship Game with a 52-48 victory over the Mount Vernon Enola Warhawks in the state semifinals on Saturday in Morrilton. The Cougars (37-3) were led by Caleb Faulkner with 25 points and eight rebounds and Justus Cooper with 14 points and 12 rebounds. The Cougars will be making their second trip to the State Finals in Hot Springs next week. The Cougars were state champions in 2008 and current head coach Kyle McCandlis was a star player on that team.
The Izard County Cougars edged the Kirby Trojans, 49-47, to advance to the semifinals of the 1A State Tournament at Morrilton on Friday. The Cougars (36-3) were led by freshman Caleb Faulkner with 14 points, junior Mike Uecker with 13 points and five rebounds, freshman Coby Everett with 12 points, and sophomore Justus Cooper with seven points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks. The Cougars trailed 15-10 after one quarter, trailed 23-17 at the half, and led 31-30 after three quarters.
The Izard County Cougars defeated the Calico Rock Pirates, 61-44, to win their fourth straight 1A 2 North District Championship at Calico Rock on Saturday night. The Cougars (32-2) were led by Caleb Faulkner with 21 points. Mike Uecker added 13 points and 10 rebounds and Justus Cooper 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars. The Cougars led 20-13 after one quarter, 32-25 at the half, and 44-38 after three quarters.
The Izard County Cougars defeated the Salem Greyhounds, 61-31, at Brockwell on January 19. The Cougars (23-2 overall and 12-0 in the 2A/1A-3 Conference) clinched their fifth straight conference title with the win. The Cougars were led by Justus Cooper with 25 points and Caleb Faulkner with 19 points. The Cougars led 16-7 after one quarter, 32-16 at the half, and 55-24 after three quarters.
The Izard County Cougars defeated the Ridgefield Christian Warriors, 68-43, in the quarterfinals of the Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament at Jonesboro in December 20. The Cougars (18-1) were led by Justus Cooper with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Uecker added 15 points and Caleb Faulkner 13 points for the Cougars. The Cougars were tied 16-16 after one quarter, led 35-27 at the half, and led 58-40 after three quarters. The Cougars advance to the semifinals on December 26 at 4 pmagainst East Poinsett County.
The Izard County Lady Cougars pulled away in the second half to defeat the Armorel Lady Tigers, 48-28, in the opening round of the Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament at the ASU Convocation Center in Jonesboro on Tuesday. The Lady Cougars led only 16-14 at the half before pulling away to the victory. The Lady Cougars (8-10) were led by Abby Brashear with 17 points and Harley Thomason with 13 points. The Lady Cougars led 7-6 after one quarter, 16-14 at the half, and 33-19 after three quarters. The Lady Cougars advance to play Riverside in the quarterfinals at 1 pm on Saturday.
The Izard County Junior Cougars rallied from 12 points down in the last three minutes of the game to stun the top-seeded Tuckerman Junior Bulldogs, 44-43, to repeat as Bill McCurley Invitational Tournament Champions at Sloan-Hendrix High School on October 28. The second-seeded Junior Cougars (4-0) finished the game on a 16-3 run behind 15 points from Coby Everett and 13 points from Rifle Comstock. Noah Everett hit two big three pointers during the closing minutes of the game and finished with seven points for the Junior Cougars. Chase Orf added six points and Gunner Gleghorn had three points for the Junior Cougars. The Junior Cougars trailed 15-8 after one quarter, 25-18 at the half, and 38-28 after three quarters.
The Junior Cougars defeated the Mammoth Spring Junior Bears, 42-35, in the semifinals on October 26. Coby Everett led the Junior Cougars with 23 points. Noah Everett added eight points, Comstock five points, Orf three points, and Gleghorn with three points. In a quarterfinal game on October 21, the Junior Cougars defeated Hillcrest, 61-32, behind 14 points each from Coby Everett and Noah Everett and 12 points from Zac Simmons. Comstock added eight points, Orf six points, Drew Foster three points, and two points each from Denton Reilly and Jared Brandon.
The Class 1A Izard County Cougars outlasted the Class 4A eStem Mets, 59-56, at Brockwell on October 27 in non-conference basketball action. The Cougars (5-0) stayed unbeaten in five games this season and they were led by sophomore Justus Cooper with 23 points and 15 rebounds and freshman Caleb Faulkner 23 points. The Cougars were tied 12-12 after one quarter, trailed 26-25 at the half, and trailed 46-40 entering the fourth quarter. The Cougars were 15 out of 18 from the foul line including 10 of 11 by Cooper. The Mets were just 10 for 21 from the foul line for the game.
The eStem Lady Mets defeated the Izard County Lady Cougars, 56-36. Sam King led the Lady Cougars (4-2) with 12 points and Harley Thomason added 11 points. The Lady Mets led 11-2 after one quarter, 25-19 at the half, and 38-28 after three quarters.
The Junior High All Region Choir Auditions were held on Saturday, October 7 in Jonesboro. ICC had two Junior High students who were selected, Daniel McCollum in 7th grade, and Katelynn Johnson in 8th grade.
The Senior High All Region Choir Auditions were held on Saturday, October 21 in Searcy. ICC Junior, Autumn Thick, was selected to the Senior High Treble Choir. Also, ICC Freshman, Abby VanCeave, made 10th chair in the Mixed Chorus and will have the honor of auditioning for the Arkansas All State Choir in February.
The Region 1 All Region Choir Clinic will be at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro on Saturday, November 4 where the students will rehearse all morning and then perform concerts that afternoon.
Izard County's standout basketball players Kennedy Cooper and Taylor Reynolds were selected May 24 to participate in next month's Arkansas Army National Guard High School Coaches Association All Star Basketball Games. Cooper, a 6'2" guard/forward, was a four time All State and All State Tournament Selection and led the Lady Cougars to state tournament appearances each of her three seasons with the Lady Cougars. The Lady Cougars were regional runner-ups this season including a regional semifinal win over the eventual state champion, the Bay Lady Yellowjackets and finished 31-8 on the season. The Lady Cougars were also Izard County champions and district and conference runner-ups. Cooper has signed to play basketball next season with Harding University. Reynolds, a 6'2" guard, led the Cougars to the state tournament Final Four this season and was named All State and All State Tournament. The Cougars reached the state tournament each of his three seasons and were also regional, district, conference, and Izard County champions this year and finished with a 35-10 record.
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