FAYETTEVILLE — In two years as University of Arkansas’ head football coach, Bobby Petrino has already built one of the nation’s most impressive offenses.
Now it’s time to work on that defense.
The Razorbacks signed defensive tackle Byran Jones on Wednesday, part of a 25-player recruiting class coaches hope will add some depth on the defensive line. Jones led Junction City High School in southern Arkansas to back-to-back state championships, and he was also a two-time member of The Associated Press Arkansas Super Team.
ATHENS, Ga. — Arkansas, which managed only two Southeastern Conference wins one year ago, suddenly looks like a contender in the SEC West.
Courtney Fortson scored 27 points, including five free throws in the last 40 seconds, and Arkansas wiped out a big halftime deficit to beat Georgia 72-68 on Wednesday night.
The Razorbacks (11-11, 4-3 SEC) have won three straight conference games for the first time since a 4-game streak in the 2007-08 season.
MELBOURNE — Melbourne’s senior high teams kept leads in the 2A-2 District standings here Tuesday night.
The Bearkatz downed the Sloan-Hendrix Greyhounds 73-42, and the Lady ’Katz downed their Sloan-Hendrix counterparts 81-34. The ’Katz top the district standings with an 8-1 record. They are 24-5 overall. The Lady Katz’ are 9-0 and 19-6.
CAVE CITY — National Signing Day is here and the Cave City football program has produced its first scholarship athletes.
Alan Wright and Thamail Morgan made their commitments official today when they signed with Arkansas State University and Ouachita Baptist University, respectively.
Wright verbally committed to ASU in December. Despite dreams of playing for a Southeastern Conference team, Wright said he is happy to be a Red Wolf.
“I’m extremely happy. It’s close to home and a big time Division I school that is getting better each year,” Wright said.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — If the Indianapolis Colts beat the Saints in the Super Bowl, many fans in New Orleans will celebrate hometown hero Peyton Manning’s second championship.
And if the Saints win, parts of northwest Indiana might resemble Bourbon Street.
Most of Indiana is expected to wear Colts blue on Super Bowl Sunday, but loyalties are split near the Purdue campus in West Lafayette, 65 miles from downtown Indianapolis. Saints quarterback Drew Brees remains an icon in the area since he led the Boilermakers’ revival a decade ago.
NEW ORLEANS — Mardi Gras falls on a Sunday this year.
The city of the Saints is filling up with ex-New Orleanians and others ahead of the Super Bowl, many looking to cast off a legacy of football futility and natural disaster — others just looking to party down in one of the world’s greatest party towns.
“We’re gearing up for Sunday just like Mardi Gras day,” said Earl Bernhardt, a bar owner in the French Quarter. “We’re staffing just like we do for Mardi Gras, and if the Saints win, we won’t close at all. We’ll stay open as long as people are standing.”
The Batesville Bassmasters will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in the George Rider Room of First Community Bank to begin setting up a 2010 tournament schedule, secretary Colin Patterson said.
“What we’d like to do is get as many people as we can to bring as much information as they can find on the Internet or wherever as to tournament schedules” of other clubs or organizations in order to set up a schedule with as few conflicts as possible, Patterson said.
BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. — The Blue Mountain Toppers earned their first win of the season and just the third in their 3-year existence here Monday night.
The 90-81 victory snapped a 34-game losing streak and it came at the expense of the Lyon Scots. The Toppers are 1-23 overall and 1-7 in the TranSouth Athletic Conference. The Scots have the same mark in the conference and are 5-15 overall.
Josh McCalmon led the Toppers with 23 points while teammate Renell Collins added 20. Lakendrick McCullum was all over the glass with 19 rebounds to go with 14 points.
The “Sports calendar” took another hit today from the weather and road conditions, but at least it wasn’t a complete wipeout.
Forrest City-at-Batesville, Timbo-at-Concord and Rural Special-at-Izard County high school and junior high basketball games were called off, and only the games at Concord have been rescheduled. They were moved to Friday.
Keith Cornett, boys coach and athletic director at Concord, also announced that the Greers Ferry West Side-at-Concord games have been moved to Saturday
BLUE MOUNTAIN, Miss. — K.K. Hodges scored a season-high 33 points and Suzanne Fincham added a career-high 20 points to push the Lyon College Pipers to a 69-59 overtime victory over the Blue Mountain Toppers on Monday in a TranSouth Athletic Conference matchup.
Lyon (14-7, 4-4) outscored Blue Mountain (8-14, 1-7) 15-5 in overtime, thanks in part to seven points from Hodges in the extra frame. The overtime game was the Pipers’ third this season. Lyon is 2-1 in those three games. Blue Mountain has lost four straight and eight of its last 10 games.
SOUTHSIDE — Southside Schools and Modern Woodmen of America are sponsoring a chili supper for the benefit of the school’s softball and volleyball programs, according to a news release from the school.
The dinner is set for Friday, 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., in the Middle School Cafeteria. The meal costs $6 and consists of chili, crackers, cheese and a dessert. The meal can be carried out and deliveries will be available.
Proceeds will be matched by Modern Woodmen up to $500.
Wintry weather and bad roads were the only winners in the Guard-circulation area over the weekend and that’s the case again today with only one exception.
The Lyon basketball teams were scheduled to depart Batesville around noon today en route to Blue Mountain, Miss. The TranSouth Athletic Conference doubleheader is set to begin with the women at 6 p.m. The men will follow at 8. The meeting was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Other basketball changes are:
Wynne juniors at Batesville — postponed, reschedule date undetermined;