Conference championship? Check.
State tournament? Check.
Watson Chapel High School's boys basketball team has checked off two season goals in recent days, coming off an undefeated run in Conference 4A-8 to win its first-round game in the 4A South Region tournament at Warren's Lumberjack Arena.
Khamani Cooper scored 29 points late Wednesday to help the Wildcats secure a spot in next week's 4A state tournament with a 64-48 win over Ashdown, the fourth-place team from Conference 4A-7. Watson Chapel will take on the winner of Thursday's late game between Camden Fairview and Stuttgart at 8:30 tonight, with that winner playing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for the regional championship.
Watson Chapel (25-6) nearly recorded two double-doubles in chalking up its 16th consecutive victory. Jai'Kori Phillips had 10 points and 9 rebounds, Joseph Dockett had 9 points and 10 rebounds, and KeShun Brown scored 9 points in the win.
Arkadelphia 60, Watson Chapel 57
On Thursday, the Lady Wildcats' bid to return to the state playoffs after missing the postseason last year fell just short.
Arkadelphia (18-8) escaped Lumberjack Arena with a 3-point victory to end Watson Chapel's season at 17-12. The Lady Wildcats had won 8 of their previous 9 going into the regional and finished the season with an 11-win improvement from last season.
Arkadelphia will play defending state champion Nashville at 4 p.m. today.