GREENWOOD – Pine Bluff, the second seed out of the 6A-South, staved off the upset with a 66-62 overtime win against Jonesboro in the opening round of the Class 6A state tournament on Tuesday afternoon.
Jonesboro (3-26), the seventh seed from the 6A-East, hit three free throws in the final 26 seconds of regulation to force overtime and took a 56-54 lead to open overtime on Morgan Malugen’s steal and layup.
Consecutive buckets by Jasmyn Eckermann had Pine Bluff up, but Jonesboro tied it with 2:19 left in overtime on Raquel Williams’ two free throws.
Jada Taylor hit a jumper from 15 feet, and Ashmere Nelson added a foul shot to put Pine Bluff up for good with 1:41 left.
After Williams’ two free throws for Jonesboro, Marquietta Sergeant scored inside for a 63-60 cushion. Ivory Thornton drove for a bucket with 55 seconds left, but Victoria Broady’s free throw with 32 seconds left put the Fillies up 64-62. Jonesboro missed a three-point attempt and Jasmyn Eckermann added another free throw with 11 seconds left. Jonesboro missed a potential game-tying three-point attempt with two seconds left.
Eckermann scored 17 points for the Fillies while Broady added 14 and Ajia Richardson chipped in 13.
Williams scored 20 points to lead Jonesboro, including 14 in the fourth quarter and overtime. Malugen scored 17 points, and Thornton scored 15, all after halftime.
Pine Bluff (24-5) will play at 1 p.m. Friday at 1 p.m. in the quarterfinals against the winner of today’s game between Mountain Home and Lake Hamilton.