Chapel to host state

Watson Chapel High School and the city of Pine Bluff was selected to host the 5A state basketball tournament Thursday afternoon.

The Arkansas Activities Association released a statement Thursday evening listing Watson Chapel and the Pine Bluff Convention Center as the host for the state tournament to be held on February 26 - March 2.

“We are tickled to death,” Convention Center director Bob Purvis said. “We have hosted a basketball tournament before.

“We have a great facility and people enjoy it.”

Watson Chapel had put in a bid to host the 2A state basketball tournament but lost out to Marmaduke.

Chapel was bidding against Alma for the 5A tourney and against Buffalo Island Central, Carlisle, Marmaduke and Rector for the 2A event.

“This is a big deal for Pine Bluff,” Purvins said. “People will eat at our restaurants and stay at our hotels.

“The economic impact is going to be huge.”

White Hall will host the Class 1A State baseball tournament and the Class 3A State softball tournament on May 9-11.

White Hall was in the running for the 5A, 3A, 2A, and 1A baseball and softball tournaments. It has hosted the 2A baseball tournament for at least the past two years.

The baseball, basketball and softball tournaments do not include championship games. The boys and girls basketball finals will be held at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock on dates to be announced, with the baseball and softball finals set for the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, May 17-18.