Rabbits season ends with upset loss to Redskins

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Mark Buffalo Lonoke’s Reid McKenzie battles for a loose ball with a Pocahontas player during the first half of the Redskins’ win over the Jackrabbits.

HEBER SPRINGS — Lonoke’s game with Pocahontas did not have the expected outcome for most neutral observers or Jackrabbit fans for that matter.

The Redskins knocked off the Jackrabbits 49-42 in the first round of the Class 4A East Region tournament Friday at Heber Springs High School.

Lonoke ends its season at 18-7.

The game was close in the first quarter as Lonoke trailed 7-5 before scoring five in a row to lead 10-7. Blake Mack hit a short jumper before Jamel Rankin hit a three-pointer.

Pocahontas hit a late three-pointer to tie the game at 10-10 heading into the second quarter.

The Redskins opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run — on three three-pointers — which gave Pocahontas a 19-10 lead with 4:48 left in the first half.

Lonoke attempted to get back into the game in the first half. Rankin scored on a drive to the basket and Darian Young hit a jumper to make the score 19-14.

However, the Redskins led 22-16 at halftime.

Their lead reached nine points again at 29-19 with 5:51 left in the third quarter. Lonoke then scored six in a row, including a three-pointer by Darrius McCall, a putback by Mack and a free throw by Dra Offord.

Pocahontas pushed their lead back to 31-24 on a basket with 1:18 left in the third quarter. From there, Lonoke scored the final four points — two each by Mack and Rankin — to trail 31-28 heading into the fourth quarter.

Lonoke got to within four at several points but trailed 40-33 with 2:31 left.

The Jackrabbits then made a last run at the Redskins.

Offord hit a jumper with 1:26 left. After a Redskins turnover, Lonoke’s Tykel Gray hit two free throws with 1:12 left to make the score 40-37.

On the ensuing inbounds play, Rankin appeared to have stolen the ball then tried to call a timeout as we he was falling out of bounds with possession of the ball. The official nearest the play said Rankin had originally had his foot on the line when he stole the ball.

Lonoke was then forced to foul and the Redskins made 9 of 10 free throws in the final 54.8 seconds to get the win.

Rankin led Lonoke with 18 points. Mack, who fought foul trouble in the first half, finished with seven. McCall added six. Offord scored five. Young, Reid McKenzie and Gray scored two points each.

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