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Mountain Pine earned a home game this week in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs, but three other teams from Garland County face long road trips to northeast Arkansas.

The Red Devils (7-3, 5-1) finished second in the 2A-5 conference and will host Hackett (4-5, 3-3) on Friday. The Hornets are the fourth seed from the 2A-4.

Mountain Pine could host another playoff game if the team advances to the second round. The Red Devils would host the winner between the second seed from the 2A-6, Des Arc (7-3, 6-1), and the 2A-5's own fourth seed, Magnet Cove (5-5, 4-3).

Lake Hamilton (5-5, 2-5 6A-West), Lakeside (5-5, 4-3 5A-South) and Fountain Lake (6-4, 3-4 4A-7) will travel an average of more than 213 miles and three hours to extreme northeast Arkansas for their first-round matchups. All three earned the last playoff spots in their conferences.

The Wolves are matched up with the third seed from the 6A-East, Jonesboro (6-4, 5-2). The Golden Hurricane had a chance to earn the conference's No. 2 seed and a bye in the first round, but Jonesboro lost, 38-25, at home to Marion (8-2, 5-2) on Thursday.

The winner between Lake Hamilton and Jonesboro will travel to meet Benton (8-2, 6-1) on Nov. 16 in the Class 6A quarterfinals. The Panthers have a bye on Friday as the 6A-West's second seed. The Wolves lost, 34-24, at Benton on Oct. 26.

Lakeside is able to enter the playoffs with a .500 record after holding off Hot Springs (1-9, 1-6), 35-32, on Friday at Chick Austin Field. The Rams owned a tiebreaker with Magnolia (6-4, 3-4) after defeating the Panthers, 71-48, on Sept. 28 and would have qualified for the playoffs even with a loss to the Trojans.

They are matched up in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs with Blytheville (5-5, 5-2). The Chickasaws were able to earn the 5A-East's top seed despite forfeiting two wins.

Blytheville self-reported a violation of the Arkansas Activities Association's rules several weeks ago regarding the use of an ineligible student in the first four games of the season. The Chickasaws lost, 37-35, to Marion and, 35-15, to West Memphis (10-0, 7-0) in non-conference games, but they were forced to forfeit a 26-21 non-conference win against Osceola (9-1, 7-0 3A-3) and a 30-13 win over Nettleton.

The forfeit kept Nettleton undefeated at 8-0 and 5-0 in the 5A-East going into Week 9. The Raiders lost their last two games, 14-12 to Valley View (7-3, 5-2) and 27-7 to Wynne (6-4, 5-2), to fall into a four-way tie at the top of the conference.

Blytheville took the top seed through tiebreaker rules, while Wynne got the second seed and Valley View was seeded third. Nettleton is now matched up in the first round with 5A-South champion Texarkana (9-1, 7-0).

The winner between Blytheville and Lakeside will meet either Morrilton (6-4, 5-2), the second seed from the 5A-West, or Little Rock Parkview (5-5, 5-2), the third seed from the 5A-Central, on Nov. 16 in the state quarterfinals.

A senior-laden Fountain Lake team won its final three games of the season to book the team's first trip to the postseason since 2015. The Cobras were 3-0 in non-conference games before losing their first four conference games to the top four teams in the 4A-7 and closing out the regular season with three consecutive wins to earn the fifth seed.

They next face the top seed from the 4A-3 conference, Rivercrest (9-1, 6-1). The Colts are one of only three nine-win teams in Class 4A.

Fountain Lake or Rivercrest will advance to the second round of the playoffs against Heber Springs (6-4, 6-1), the second seed from the 4A-2, or Pocahontas (4-6, 3-4), the fifth seed from the 4A-3.

Arkadelphia (5-5, 5-2) also surged through the second half of the season in the 4A-7. The Badgers lost at home in non-conference play to Class 6A Sylvan Hills and Benton and on the road at Wynne.

Their only two losses in the 4A-7 were to Joe T. Robinson (8-2, 6-1) and Nashville (8-2, 5-2) to start conference play before earning five straight wins to finish the regular season. They now get a home game on Friday in the first round against Gosnell (6-4, 3-2), the third seed from the 4A-3.

The winner will advance to the second round on Nov. 16 to face either Warren (8-1, 6-1), the 4A-8's top seed, or Central Arkansas Christian (5-5, 4-3), the 4A-2's fifth seed. Arkadelphia could host a second playoff game if CAC advanced past Warren.

The Lumberjacks have been without receiver Treylon Burks for the last month, finally losing their first game of the season on Friday, 60-36, to Helena-West Helena (8-2, 5-2). Burks committed to Arkansas in the summer. He suffered a torn ACL on Oct. 5, underwent surgery the following week and is not expected to return this season.

Centerpoint (6-4, 4-3 3A-5) also faces a long road trip of 180 miles. The Knights earned the 3A-5's fourth seed and will play Friday at Newport (8-2, 6-1), the second seed from the 3A-3.

The winner will advance to the second round on Nov. 16 to face McGehee (7-3, 5-1), the second seed from the 3A-6, or Piggott (6-4, 4-3), the fourth seed from the 3A-3. Centerpoint would host Piggott if both the Knights and the Mohawks win in the first round.

Mount Ida (8-2, 5-2 2A-7) will also get a home game on Friday. The defending Class 2A state runner-up finished the regular season as the third seed from the 2A-7 conference and will host Bearden (3-6, 2-3), the fourth seed from the 2A-8, in the first round.

The Lions suffered two defeats in the final month of the season after starting out 6-0. The 2A-7 featured four eight-win teams.

The winner between Mount Ida and Bearden will be on the road on Nov. 16 at Hector (7-3, 5-1), the top seed out of the 2A-4. The Wildcats have a first-round bye.

Sports on 11/05/2018

Print Headline: Garland County teams hit the road for playoffs

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