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Lady Jackrabbits return to top of 4A-2, win district tourney

The Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits are the 2014 4A-2 district tournament champions (Photo by Mark Buffalo)Buy Photo
The Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits are the 2014 4A-2 district tournament champions (Photo by Mark Buffalo)
Lonoke’s Jeni Rooney brings the ball up the floor against Stuttgart last week. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)Buy Photo
Lonoke’s Jeni Rooney brings the ball up the floor against Stuttgart last week. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)

For the first time since 2010, the Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits are the queens of the 4A-2 district tournament.

Lonoke beat Heber Springs 45-37 in the championship game Saturday night at Marianna. With the win, Lonoke is now 22-6 on the season.

The Lady Jackrabbits last won the district tournament in 2010. That year, the Lady Jackrabbits lost to Prairie Grove in the Class 4A state semifinals at Highland High School.

“We played top-notch basketball,” Lonoke coach Nathan Morris said. “We talked before the game about the way Heber can beat you if you have three big mistakes in a row. I don’t think we ever had more than two mistakes in a row. That was a big key. I think we got behind five one time. We just inched our way back in and got control.”

Lonoke got off to a good start, leading 9-5 late in the first quarter. Heber Springs outscored Lonoke 14-6 to lead 19-15 with 3:36 left in the first half. The Lady Jackrabbits then scored five in a row — two each by Callie Whitfield and Jarrelyn McCall and a free throw by Ashlyn Allen — to lead 20-19. Lonoke led 25-25 at halftime but trailed 32-30 heading into the fourth quarter.

Lonoke used a 6-0 run in the final quarter to take control of the game. Lonoke led 37-36 with Eboni Willis started the run. Amanda Sexton then scored on a putback and Whitfield scored off a steal to lead 43-36.

Heber Springs scored only one more point in the game.

McCall led Lonoke with 18 points. Willis scored seven. Kerasha Johnson had eight. Whitfield added six. Allen had four while Sexton scored two.

The Lady Jackrabbits played Pocahontas in the first round of the east region tournament Wednesday at Clinton.

If Lonoke won, it will play Friday at 4 p.m. in the semifinals. The third-place game is Saturday at noon; the championship game is Saturday at 6 p.m.

Lonoke advanced to the title game of the district tournament with a 63-38 win over Stuttgart last week.

Lonoke led 18-7 after one quarter and 33-13 at halftime.

McCall led Lonoke with 22 points. Sexton scored 12. Willis had nine. Johnson added eight. Allen had six. Whitfield scored two while Samaria James added a free throw.

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