Tuesday, January 04, 2011

SPORTS>>Jackrabbits pounce on Lumberjacks late

Leader sportswriter

Lonoke turned Warren’s fourth-quarter breakdown into a 60-44, comeback victory in the seventh-place game of the Beebe Holiday Classic at Badger Sports Arena on Thursday.

Warren controlled the game from the tipoff until the final minute of the third quarter, when Lonoke came back with a five-point run by Keli Bryant that helped cut the lead to 41-38 entering the final period. The Lumberjacks didn’t help their cause with three technical fouls, two in the fourth quarter.

Junior Tarale Watson scored 10 of his game-high 16 points for Lonoke in the third quarter. The Jackrabbits held the Lumberjacks to three, fourth-quarter points after giving up 16 in both the second and third quarters.

“That’s kind of what our philosophy is – eventually, it’s going to wear them down,” Jackrabbits coach Dean Campbell said. “I think they got frustrated with what we were doing. The kids did a great job of adapting and changing. It allowed us to get some turnovers and really apply pressure.”

The Lumberjacks took early advantage of Lonoke’s struggles at the post. Junior T.J. Scott, the Jackrabbits’ starter, was out with an injury to leave sophomores Reid McKenzie and Dustin Perkins to take on the big-bodied Lumberjacks inside.

The pair matched up in size but McKenzie was a second slower than Warren and the Lumberjacks often overpowered Perkins on the rebounds. When the Jackrabbits turned to a full-court defense and transition offense late, the inside play was not as critical.

“Not having him early hurt us,” Campbell said of Scott’s absence. “Because he’s important to us. He does really good things on the offensive end at the post. I’m really proud of them from the standpoint that we’re missing an important part, and we have guys who stepped up and got it done.”

Storm Beeler cut Warren’s lead to 41-40 when he hit a pair of free throws to start the fourth quarter. Demarcus Colbert answered with free throws for Warren, but Darius Scott made a three-pointer to tie it 43-43 with 7:03 left in the game, marking the first time since the opening tip Warren had not held the lead.

Lonoke (4-7) scored only 18points in the first half but had 42 in the second.

“I think the majority of our guys basically all played the same,” Campbell said. “There wasn’t one person who really stood out. All of them played well at times and really contributed. It was probably our best team win that we’ve had so far.”

Once frustration set in for Warren, Lonoke took over. The Jackrabbits (4-7) outscored the Lumberjacks 17-1 over the final seven minutes, and got help from Warren guard Fred Newton, who drew a technical foul when he disputed a charging call.

Beeler drew the charge and made a free throw to give the Jackrabbits a 48-43 lead with 6:29 left to play. Allen Tatum drew another technical less than a minute later when he made a remark officials deemed unacceptable.

“I think it does give us some confidence if we stay working and play hard that our pressure will eventually get to people,” Campbell said. “We’ve got to continue to do a better job on the offensive end. We got Warren into a situation where they had to come after us defensively, and that played into our hands.”

Darius Scott finished with 14 points for the Jackrabbits while Beeler added 11, eight in the fourth quarter. Bryant had nine points for Lonoke.

Robert Phillips led Warren with 10 points while Colbert finished with nine and James Phillips had eight.