Late Warrior rally ends Zebras’ season

JONESBORO — Little Rock Hall completed a 6A quarterfinal sweep of Pine Bluff on Tuesday night, but needed a big fourth quarter run to ensure the victory.

Behind guard Kaylon Tappin’s 25 points, Hall came away with a 66-46 win at Jonesboro High School to end the Zebras’ season at 17-9.

Just like its girls team, Hall will take on Little Rock Parkview in Tuesday’s semifinal round. Both Hall’s boys and girls teams are defending state champions.

Pine Bluff outscored Hall 13-10 in the third quarter to pull within 42-36, but the Warriors took advantage of the Zebras’ miscues and had a 24-10 fourth quarter to seal the win. Hall led 17-16 through one period.

“We broke down on defense,” Pine Bluff coach Carl Smith said, adding the Zebras did some uncharacteristic things during the game.

“Just inexperience, if I had to sum it up, (with) that kind of pressure and us being young as we are,” Smith added. “You’ve got some seniors that came in and did a good job, but they hadn’t been there before.”

Roosevelt Murray led the Zebras with 14 points.

The Zebras tried to attack the Warriors with an inside game, but big men John Tate and Will Gragg were saddled with foul trouble in the early going. Still, the Zebras stayed within striking distance until that rough fourth quarter.