Blankenship Remembered at PHS
Two long-time, and often bitter, rivals joined forces on Thursday, Feb. 8, to remember one of their own. The place was Piggott High School, and the occasion was the Mohawk basketball senior night as the class of 2018 was set to be recognized. The opponents, the potent Corning Bobcats.
In the early contest there was little doubt about the outcome, as the Lady Mohawks only had five players dressed for the contest due to illness. As for the Lady Bobcats, they brought a full roster with the exception of sophomore guard Hannah Blankenship, who was killed in a traffic accident Sunday, Jan. 20, near Corning.
The death of Blankenship, who was also active in the FFA chapter and well-known by several PHS students, had impacted both communities. Thursday night those communities joined together to remember Hannah, and raise hundreds of dollars for the scholarship created in her memory.
The brainchild of Lady Mohawk assistant Billy Joe Seal, the contest became a three-point shooting exhibition as the two teams traded “treys” for Hannah.
What transpired was a lopsided Lady Bobcat win, although the outcome was a foregone conclusion. But, unlike the usual battle with one of your biggest rivals—this game brought applause and cheers from both sides of the floor each time a three-point basket was made, regardless of the team.
When the air had cleared of basketballs, 43 three-pointers had been scored and over $680 had been raised for the Hannah Blankenship Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Some of those funds were raised by a half-court shooting contest, with several students winning items from the concession stand for their performances. A donation jar was also set up in the lobby, and the funds generated by the Piggott State Bank half-court shooting contest also went to the cause. Chosen for the final chance of the year was Daniel Gossett, although he found his shot falling well short of the mark.
In further remembrance of Blankenship, in the boys game Mohawk senior Quentin Reeves switched from his usual number 13 and wore the number 4 which had been worn by Hannah as a member of the Lady Bobcats. The Lady Mohawk players also wore special ribbons on their jerseys in the Bobcat colors of black and gold.
According to Lady Mohawk Coach Melissa Hopkins, $65.20 was raised in the donation jar and by the half-court shooting contests; $444.44 was donated by Mohawk basketball and pee wee basketball and another $172 was donated by Piggott Little League from funds generated by last year's tournament for the three pointers.
During the late game Seal had the chance to present the check to Hannah's parents, Bobby and Angela Blankenship.