|Lonoke's Keiunna Walker attempts a shot against CAC on Jan. 27. Lonoke beat the Lady Mustangs 40-29 in the third-place game of the region tournament on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)|
By Mark Buffalo
CAVE CITY — The Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits are headed back to the state basketball tournament for the first time since 2014.
Lonoke beat Highland 54-44 in the first round of the Class 4A East Region Tournament on Thursday at Cave City High School to qualify for this week’s Class 4A state tournament. Lonoke then lost to Pocahontas 47-40 in the semifinals of the regional before beating Central Arkansas Christian 40-29 in the third-place game Saturday.
Lonoke is now 22-10 on the season. The Lady Jackrabbits will play Pottsville in the first round of the state tournament this Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Nashville High School. The winner will play Star City on Thursday at 4 p.m.
Pottsville is the third seed from from the North region. The Lady Apaches are 18-11 on the season, according to Max Preps. They beat Gravette 67-51 in the first round; lost to Berryvillle 38-35 in the semifinals then beat West Fork 40-38 in the third-place game.
In the win over Highland, Lonoke led 15-6 after one quarter and 27-18 at halftime. The Lady Rebels got back into the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Jackrabbits 11-8. Lonoke outscored Highland 21-15 in the fourth quarter to get the victory.
Keiunna Walker led Lonoke with 31 points. Mickenzie Williams added 13. Kaley Woodruff had six. Mia Brown scored four. Gracie Hyde added two.
In the loss to Pocahontas, Lonoke trailed 10-7 after one quarter and 24-18 at halftime.
Walker led Lonoke with 28 points. Kennedy White had four. Hyde scored three. Scoring two each were Woodruff, Williams and Maddie Pool.
Against CAC in the third-place game, Lonoke led 17-4 after one quarter and 20-9 at halftime. CAC was playing without All-American Christyn Williams, who sustained a shoulder injury in her team’s loss to EStem in the semifinals.
Walker led Lonoke with 15 points. Brown and eight. Mickenzie Williams had six. Hyde and Woodruff scored four points each. White added two while Hannah Moseley hit a free throw.