The Crossett Lady Eagles made it to the regional basketball tournament for the first time in more than five years, and adding to that news is the fact that Crossett is hosting it.
Both boys and girls 4A South regional brackets will be played out in the Crossett arena this week.
“With 8-10 schools traveling in for the tournament, local businesses including restaurants, retailers and lodging facilities should see an influx of business,” Mandy White, the executive director of Crossett’s Chamber of Commerce, said. “We always welcome a boost to our local economy.”
The Chamber has been working with the city and other organizations to find ways to bring people to the area.
“People crave local food, local attractions and a connection to the lifestyles of local culture and people,” White said.
She said hosting major athletic events could be a major attraction for the area, but also give residents something to get out and do.
“It has been a joy to watch and be a part of the ‘changes of Crossett’ over the past few months. For so long, the formed opinion was ‘there’s just nothing to do around here’ but that has changed, and kudos to the people of our community for caring enough to make things happen,” White said. “It’s great that our schools have been able to host so many big sporting events, but it is also really great for our town and our local businesses as well.”
When Crossett hosted the football playoffs there were a few restaurants in town who adjusted their business hours to accommodate fans after the games.
The first game will tip off on Wednesday, Feb. 26 and the tournament will go through Saturday. Feb. 29. The first game on the girls bracket is at 4 p.m. on Wednesday and the boys bracket starts at 5:30 p.m.
Lady Eagles coach Shanae Govan said she is excited that her girls get to participate in something that Crossett hasn’t attended in five years and added that to be this year’s host is really special.
There are 48 teams in the 4A conference across the state and the top 24 teams qualify for one of three regional tournaments which are North, East and South. Berryville High School is hosting the North bracket and Valley View High School in Jonesboro is hosting the East bracket.
The South bracket, which will be played in Crossett, will be the top four teams from Region 8 and Region 7 for a total of eight teams to play in the boys bracket and eight teams to play in the girls bracket.
In Region 7, Arkadelphia, Malvern, Nashville and Bauxite lead the boys standings and DeQueen, Mena, Nashville and Bauxite lead the girls standings.
In Region 8, Magnolia, Monticello, Warren and Camden Fairview lead the boys bracket and Star City, Warren, Magnolia and Crossett lead the girls bracket.
There are still a few games left to play before all of the final slots are determined, however, some teams already know they are locked in based on their records and what games they have left to play, some are still fighting for a shot.
The teams will be competing for a chance to play in the state playoffs in Farmington in March.