Blown away

Jonesboro continues dominance of 7A/6A-East

By Billy Woods WM School District

The Hurricane blew into Lehr Arena Tuesday night and did extensive damage. On its way to a probable undefeated 14-game run through the 7A/6A-East Conference schedule, Jonesboro recorded its sixth straight 20-win season in destroying West Memphis 74-42. Though the damage at Lehr was limited to the Blue Devil record, the home team still has its postseason sights set on Friday night’s crucial matchup at Little Rock Central. The Blue Devils (13-11 overall, 6-5 in the conference) need one more win against either Central on Friday or at home against North Little Rock next Tuesday night in order to clinch a 7A state tournament berth. When asked to describe the contest, West Memphis head coach Larry Bray didn’t mince words. “That wasn’t too good,” he said. “(Jonesboro) is really good, though.” Jonesboro (20-2, 11-0) wasted no time in taking the Blue Devils out of the game, hitting the first 9 points of the game and forcing 11 turnovers, mostly off its rabid full-court press. The Hurricane hit 8 of its first 12 shots from the field and led 21-5 at the end of the first stanza. Head coach Wes Swift’s defense held the Blue Devils scoreless from the field for 8 minutes, 49 seconds extending from the first quarter to the second. During that span, Jonesboro swept through a 19-1 run that effectively ended all West Memphis hopes. The Hurricane dominated the glass in the first half, outrebounding the Blue Devils 17-7. Jonesboro led at the half, 40-15. By the end of three quarters, the visitors led 64-31 and had put a second mercy ruling on the Blue Devils this year. The bright spots for West Memphis were few, but senior guard Dylan Gazo splashed five three-pointers on his way to an 18-point night while fellow senior Brandon Atwood added three treys for 9 points. Jonesboro placed four players in double figures with Ralph Walker leading the way with 13 points while Trey Lane hit for 12 and Kobe Wilson and Jonathan Adams added 10 points apiece. Bray took time after the game to make sure his team’s psyche wasn’t affected at all by the loss, with the big game at Central looming. “I told them to not let this loss have any effect on what we’re trying to accomplishing this year,” Bray stated. “We’ve got to regroup. I know (Central) will be gunning for us, so we’ve just got to be ready to play.”

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