~ Senior Girls ~
Mena Basketball wrapped up on Feb. 20th, as both the Mena senior girls and senior boys fell short in their first round games of the 4A South Regional Tournament at Mena High School.
The young Mena Ladycats dropped their first round game of Regionals to a talented Star City team, 58-25, putting their season to an end.
The Mena senior girls ended their year with an overall record of 13-14, while going 7-5 in conference play.
Ladycat Coach Scott Wright will lose only one starter to graduation this year in Tateli Thacker. On Thacker, Wright said, “We are going to miss her leadership, her character, and her role on the court.”
Going into next season, Wright says, “We have a good group returning. We have a nice 9th grade group coming up to join us and we are going to have more players on the team than we have had in a long time.”
Wright noted, “I expect bigger and better things next year.”
~ Senior Boys ~
The Mena Bearcats also lost their first round game in Regionals, however the Mena senior boys lost to number one seed Magnolia, 62-46.
The Bearcats won 19 games this season while losing only 9, and won Mena’s first basketball Conference Championship since 2005.
Head Bearcat Coach Thomas Powell will lose six players to graduation this year including Daniel Davis, Connor Harvey, Zeb Wilson, Nick Myers, Brock Strother, and Henny Wurpts.
“Stepping back and looking at the whole season, we know we had a really good year,” said Thomas Powell, Head Coach of the Bearcats.
Powell said, “We met a lot of our goals that we had set out. We went undefeated at home and we won the conference.”
“We wanted to build enthusiasm, and support, and with the environment we proved that we can turn it into a real home court advantage. I am really proud of these guys and especially these seniors on what we were able to accomplish,” Powell added.
Going into next season, Powell noted, “We are going to be losing some seniors, so we have a lot to do over the next few months. But, we are going to have new seniors, a new team, new goals, and new expectations, and hopefully we can build on what we did this year.”
~ Junior Boys ~
The Mena Jr. Boys season ended in the first round of their District Tournament, after the Jr. Bearcats suffered a 40-29 loss to Bauxite.
“The boys worked very hard this year. They encountered a lot of adversity on the court and it never kept them from working harder each and everyday,” said Randy Peters, coach of the Jr. Bearcats.
Peters commented on their season saying, “They did two-a-day practices most of the year, and did film studies on their own when they didn’t have to. We started out the season having some low expectations, but at the end we were predicted to finish as one of the top teams in the conference, as we did.”
“I received comments on our team nearly every night from other coaches, administrators, and area officials saying how much improvement they had seen out of the boys, and how their effort and respect was to be commended,” said Peters. “Even though the boys didn’t win Conference Championship or win every game, Coach Luttmer and I fully believe that this group can be very special if they stick together and compete like they did this season in football and in basketball. Family is important to us and our hope is that they keep that family together, just like our seniors this year, and then the success will follow.”
Peters also credited Assistant Coach Ryan Luttmer on a great year, saying, “Coach Luttmer was a huge factor in the development of our boys on and off the court.”
Peters continued, “We like to share how faith, family, and hard-work are the intangibles for life and in providing good character. Coach Luttmer demonstrated that each and every day to our young men, and we couldn’t have had any of the success we have had without his support and impact on Mena Schools. I know the future is promising because of the heart he puts in to developing our young men.”
~ Junior Girls ~
The Mena Jr. Ladycats wrapped up their season in the 7-4A Jr. District Tournament at Arkadelphia, as the Mena Jr. Girls were defeated by the Nashville Jr. Scrapperettes, 48-17, in the District Finals.
“I am proud of everything we accomplished this year, and how much we improved,” said Jordan Poole, Head Coach of the Jr. Ladycats.
Poole added, “I am blessed to be apart of this community and to get to work with such great kids.”