SHERIDAN — In the last meeting, Pine Bluff hit eight three-pointers at home in route to a 21-point victory over Sheridan.
The Zebras took their hot shooting on the road, converting six three-pointers while shooting 50 percent from the field in a 65-43 win over the Yellowjackets on Friday night at Oliver Williams Gymnasium.
“They shot lights out on us again,” Sheridan head coach Joe Scott said. “They’re a really good team when they shoot the ball that well.”
Pine Bluff opened up the game with a three-pointer from Marcus Thomas and jumped out to a quick 11-2 lead. Sheridan (10-15, 4-7 in 7A/6A-South) couldn’t convert on a lot of open looks.
“It felt like we had so many rim out on us,” Scott said. “It felt like at times that we couldn’t buy a basket. The ball just wasn’t bouncing our way.”
Pine Bluff added a highlight shot at the end of the first quarter when J’Marlos Johnson hit a running, near half-court, buzzer beater to give Pine Bluff a 23-14 lead and momentum heading into the second quarter.
“That was just a heads-up play, “Pine Bluff assistant head coach Tramaine Brown said. “I’m glad he heard me yelling …because he turned around and threw it up three-quarters court and it was a momentum booster going into the second (quarter).”
Pine Bluff (14-8, 9-3) used that momentum and preceded to go on a 15-6 run due in large part to attacking the basket as Pine Bluff converted 7 of 14 from the free throw line while adding two three-pointers to take a 38-20 lead into the locker room.
“We knew if we played solid defense, we knew we had a chance,” Brown said. “We figured if we could hold them to 50 points or less, we felt like we had a pretty good chance.”
Along with attacking the basket, Pine Bluff crashed the boards on both sides of the court while winning the rebounding battle 28-25. John Tate had a particularly good game rebounding as he led the team with seven boards.
“(Tate) did an excellent job of crashing the boards,” Brown said. “We boxed out and we made a conscious effort to go after the rebound. We told the guys to play hard and never take any plays off.”
In the second half, Pine Bluff outscored Sheridan 27-23 with the Zebras’ points coming mostly from the free throw line. Both teams combined to attempt 59 free throws on the night.
Pine Bluff was led by Roosevelt Murray, who tallied 23 points while adding four assists and two rebounds. Tate chipped in with 11 points along with his seven rebounds and added two steals. Will Gragg, who led Pine Bluff in scoring Thursday night, did not record a basket but contributed with six rebounds, an assist and two blocks.
Sheridan was led by Austin Theiss, who finished with 14 points and added seven rebounds while recording a steal and a block. Jessie Feathers added 10 points, an assist and a steal for the Yellowjackets.