Friday, January 06, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Rabbits sweep Eagles

By RAY BENTON Leader sports editor

The Lonoke basketball teams enjoyed a sweep of Mayflower on Tuesday at the Gina Cox Center. In the boys’ game, the 3-point shot was the Jackrabbits’ biggest ally. Lonoke hit eight over the course of its 58-45 victory, including four by senior guard Haven Hunter.

Three of Hunter’s 3-pointers came in the first period, but Mayflower hung close. Reggie Dunn got to the line three times and made all six free throws, while post player Jordan Mack dropped in four more points to keep the Eagles within one point, 15-14, at the end of the opening frame.

Mayflower continued to get to the line in the second period, but didn’t continue to shoot them so well. The Eagles shot nine more free throws in the second period, but only made three. Defensively, the Eagles began spying Hunter, but Lonoke got a lift off the bench from senior Isaac Toney.

Toney scored all seven of his points in the second period, helping the Jackrabbits extend their advantage to 29-24 by halftime. Toney also made Lonoke’s only free-throw attempt of the first half, while Mayflower shot 15 times from the line.

That changed in the second half as a defensive adjustment kept the Eagles from getting penetration into the lane. It wasn’t, however, a different defense.

“We decided to guard better, and get in the correct positions,” said Lonoke coach Dean Campbell.

Lonoke still only shot one free throw in the third, to Mayflower’s zero, but the Jackrabbits shot well from the floor, while the Eagles settled for outside jumpers that mostly weren’t falling.

Hunter, TaMarrea Moore and Kylan Branscomb all hit 3-pointers, and Branscomb added two short jumpers in the lane for seven points in the quarter. Lonoke outscored Mayflower 18-10 to take a 47-34 lead into the fourth.

Lonoke only made one field goal in the fourth quarter, Hunter’s fourth and final 3-pointer, but its defense and good free-throw shooting kept the visiting team from ever seriously threatening.

Mayflower was forced to begin fouling midway through the fourth, and Lonoke made 8 of 9 foul shots down the stretch to keep the Eagles at arms’ length.

Hunter’s 13 points led the Jackrabbits, who are now 8-8 overall and 2-3 in the blended 4A-1A Regional 2 Conference. Branscomb and Tyrique Jackson each scored 11 for Lonoke.


The Lady Jackrabbits were in a scrape early until pulling away to defeat Mayflower 52-38. The Lonoke ladies’ lead was just 9-8 at the end of the first quarter, but the LHS defense held the Lady Eagles to just three points in the second period. After taking a 19-11 lead into halftime, Lonoke surpassed that point total in the third quarter alone, and took command of the game.

The Lady Jackrabbits made five 3-pointers in the third period, including three by junior guard Keiunna Walker.

Post player Kennedy White also stepped out and hit one from long range while Mickenzie Williams also sank one trey. By the start of the fourth quarter, Lonoke’s lead was 39-22 and Mayflower never seriously threatened in the fourth.

Walker led Lonoke with 19 points while Williams added 10 for the Lady Rabbits Mayflower’s Tori Lasker led all scorers with 20 points while Tristen Lasker added 11.

Lonoke will play at Bauxite on Tuesday.