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AAA sets basketball classes, conferences for 2024-25


Marion, West Memphis to remain in 5A East, Earle moving down to 1A

From the Arkansas Activities Association

NORTH LITTLE ROCK — A number of Arkansas schools will change classifications while others will switch conferences in the basketball classifications and conferences approved for the 2024-26 cycle Friday by the Arkansas Activities Association board of directors.

The new cycle will be the first with the competitive equity factor that is calculated every two years as well as the implementation of Class 4A changing to eight member conferences. Both of those changes were voted on and approved by the AAA member schools at last summer's governing body meeting. The state's largest basketball classification, 6A, is the only class that saw zero change. Jonesboro remains in the 6A-Central conference with Bryant, Cabot, Conway, Little Rock Central, Little Rock Southwest and North Little Rock.

For teams in Crittenden County’s two largest districts, the Patriots and Blue Devils will have the same opponents as the recently completed 2023-24 season, as there were no changes in the 5A-East conference as Batesville, Greene County Tech, Marion, Nettleton, Paragould, Searcy, Valley View and West Memphis will once again comprise the league lineup.

Gosnell moves up to Class 4A after competing in 3A during the last cycle.

The Pirates will join Blytheville, Brookland, Highland, Pocahontas and Westside in 4A-3.

Trumann and Wynne have been moved from 4A-3 to 4A-6, where the Wildcats and Yellowjackets will join Forrest City, Lonoke, Southside and Stuttgart.

The 3A-3 conference will include Harrisburg, Hoxie, Manila, Newport, Osceola, Rivercrest and Walnut Ridge. Hoxie, Newport and Walnut Ridge all competed in 3A-2 basketball last season. Corning, Piggott and Tuckerman are all moving down to Class 2A.

Corning and Piggott have been placed in 2A-3 along with Bay, Buffalo Island Central, Cross County, East Poinsett County, Marmaduke, Rector and Riverside.

Tuckerman has been slotted into 2A-2, which will also feature Cedar Ridge, Cotter, Izard County, Mammoth Spring, Marshall and Sloan-Hendrix.

One local team will have a new conference home next season. Earle moves into the 1A-3 conference. The league lineup change is a result of Earle being shuffled down from Class 2A. Mammoth Spring moved up to Class 2A to fill the vacancy left by the Bulldogs.

Around the state, changes included Farmington and the Little Rock Christian boys moving up to 5A, with eStem dropping to 4A as the only changes in the second-argest class.

The Central Arkansas Christian boys, Green Forest and Gosnell move up into 4A after spending the previous cycle in 3A. There will be plenty of new faces in 3A as Greenland, Haas Hall Bentonville, Lavaca, Mansfield, Rison and Thaden all move up from 2A while Ashdown and Subiaco Academy drop down from 4A. Haas Hall Fayetteville and Providence Academy also join class 3A.

Alpena, Decatur, Hampton, Mammoth Spring, Ozark Catholic and The New School all move up into 2A for the 2024-26 cycle while they are joined by the Central Arkansas Christian girls, Corning, Danville, Hackett, Piggott and Tuckerman, who move down from 3A.

Earle, Magazine and Western Yell County will all three drop into 1A after spending the previous cycle in 2A. Arkansas School for Advanced Studies, Founders Classical, Founders West Little Rock, Friendship Aspire, Oark and Columbia Christian will compete in 1A for the 2024-26 cycle.

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