Preps Roundup: Zebras close conference play victoriously


TEXARKANA — In a game that wouldn’t change Pine Bluff’s second-place finish in the 7A/6A-South Conference, the Zebras continued to impress in closing the regular season Thursday.

Ladarius Skelton scored 15 of his game-high 20 points in leading the Zebras to a 63-35 win over Texarkana. Although Pine Bluff finishes a game behind Benton in conference standings, the 6A power rankings will determine where the Zebras will be seeded for next week’s state tournament at Jonesboro.

Skelton nailed 4 of 6 three-point attempts Thursday. J’Marlos Johnson added 10 points for Pine Bluff (16-8, 11-3 in 7A/6A-South).

Texarkana (10-13, 2-11) was led by Cameron Moore with nine points and Darius Williams with eight.

Hot Springs 54, White Hall 52

WHITE HALL — A tip-in at the final buzzer gave the Trojans (17-8, 12-2 in 5A-South) the victory on the road and, therefore, the conference championship by one game over Watson Chapel.

Tyler Pirson led White Hall (6-17, 4-10) with 19 points in the Bulldogs’ season finale. Kirk Baugh added 12 points and Jordan Lawson had 10.

Had the Bulldogs — who finished seventh in the 5A-South — pulled off the upset, Watson Chapel would have earned the No. 1 seed going into the state tournament by virtue of a higher margin of victory against Hot Springs in head-to-head play.

4A EAST REGION

Stuttgart 56, Gosnell 53

CLINTON — Free throws down the stretch and missed three-point attempt by Gosnell helped Stuttgart (14-13) secure its first state tournament berth since 2011.

Stuttgart fought back from a 17-9 first-quarter deficit and trailed 32-27 at halftime. The Ricebirds were still down 41-40 after three periods.

With 50 seconds to go, Janell Horner made two free throws to put the Ricebirds ahead 54-53. After the Pirates missed a shot, Stuttgart’s Dewayne Minter added two more tosses to make it a three-point game.

Minter led the Ricebirds with 13 points, Alante Stewart had 12 and Horner scored 11.

Stuttgart will play Brookland at 8:30 tonight. The winner will play either Dollarway or Lonoke in Saturday’s regional final.

Dollarway fans are asked to wear black for the Cardinals’ 5:30 p.m. game against Lonoke today.

4A SOUTH REGION

Bauxite 57, Dumas 37

NASHVILLE — Bauxite outscored Dumas 21-6 in the final 8 minutes to put the regional quarterfinal game out of reach and end the Bobcats’ season at 12-11.

The Bobcats were within five points at the end of the third quarter after giving up a 16-6 run that put the Miners ahead 24-17. The Miners made 20 of 32 free throws, but the Bobcats hit just 3 of 14.

“We didn’t get in a good offensive flow,” Dumas coach Johnny Hendrix said. “Turnovers hurt us.”

Johnny Gibson led Dumas with 15 points, while Josh Spinks added seven. Ben Madison paced Bauxite with 23, followed by Bradley McCool with 11 and Zach Baxley with 10.

Bauxite will face defending regional champion Central Arkansas Christian today.

GIRLS

Pine Bluff 50, Texarkana 42

TEXARKANA — Ajia Richardson finished with 18 points and Jasmyn Eckermann had 11 in leading the Fillies to a must-win over the Lady Razorbacks.

Pine Bluff (21-6, 11-3 in 7A/6A-South) finished even with Benton (17-5, 11-3) in conference standings, but both teams can share the conference title with El Dorado (24-3, 11-2) if Sheridan can upset the Lady Wildcats tonight.

Hot Springs 51, White Hall 26

WHITE HALL — The Lady Trojans (20-5, 14-0 in 5A-South) beat the Lady Bulldogs (19-6, 12-2) to the 20-win mark and completed an unbeaten season in the conference.

Berniezha Tidwell led Hot Springs with 18 points and Tiranna Watkins added 15. JaeLisa Allen had seven points to lead White Hall.

The Lady Bulldogs, who still finished second in the league, will play defending state champion Jacksonville at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the 5A state tournament in Alma.

4A SOUTH REGION

Nashville 48, Dumas 42

NASHVILLE — A rough night for the Lady Cats ended with two players hospitalized after the game and a six-point defeat to end their season at 18-10.

Whitney Henderson left the game and needed stitches in her chin after she was tripped up on her way to the basket. Another Lady Cat was dehydrated and also had to go to the hospital.

No statistics from the game were available.

Also Thursday: Sheridan 55, Lake Hamilton 51.