SWIFTON — The Bay Yellowjackets, Class 1A state high school basketball runners-up, remain on top in the George Kell Classic.
Bay, the tournament’s defending champion and the top seed when the 2011 edition began on Jan. 1, won it again with a hard-earned, 51-38 victory over the Southside Southerners here Saturday night.
The victory brought Bay’s record to 21-6 — good for a team that graduated four starters last spring and played without its one returning starter until recently.
However, that kind of success isn’t a surprise.
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Greg Gantt scored 11 points and had a steal with three seconds left to seal Florida Atlantic’s 61-57 win over Arkansas State on Saturday night.
The Owls (11-6, 4-0 Sun Belt Conference) led 59-57 with 33 seconds left before Raymond Taylor missed a 1-and-1 free-throw opportunity for them.
The Red Wolves (7-10, 2-2) then took over possession, but Donald Boone, whose 3-pointer had just made it a 1-shot game, turned it over to Gantt.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Sarah Watkins scored 21 points to lead No. 25 Arkansas to a 61-56 victory over Mississippi State on Sunday.
Arkansas (14-1, 2-0 SEC) shot 37.5 percent (21 of 56) from the floor and hit 16 of 24 free throws, including four clutch ones down the stretch.
Trailing by double digits late in the second half, Mississippi State (8-6, 0-2) closed the deficit to three points with just under a minute remaining. C’eira Ricketts free throws put the Razorbacks back up 59-54.
The snow that hit the area Sunday night and this morning has shortened today’s schedule of basketball games considerably.
As of press time, the junior high games at Batesville, Southside, Melbourne, Brockwell, Lynn and Strawberry had been postponed. Only the Hillcrest Junior High Tournament games at the last two sites have been rescheduled. They will try to play those second-round contests on Thursday.
PARAGOULD — This was not the start Batesville wanted.
In 5A-East District-opening basketball games here Friday night, the Lady Pioneers led early but faltered late and lost 49-41 to the Paragould Lady Rams.
The Pioneers trailed early, rallied late, but came up short 51-45.
The Lady Pioneers led 14-10 and 26-24 at the first two breaks. The Lady Rams led 37-32 after three quarters.
Senior K.K. Hodges became Lyon College’s career rebounding leader, as the Scots defeated a winless Mid-Continent (Ky.) squad, 63-36 Saturday in Becknell Gymnasium.
Hodges passed Grace Catt-McDowell, who played for then Arkansas College from 1987-91. The senior now has 825 career rebounds. Also, she is third on the all-time scoring list with 1,695 after recording 14 Saturday. Catt-McDowell holds the points record with 1,786. With an average of more than 17 points per game, Hodges is on pace to break that record this month.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas had something to prove, and it wasn’t quite ready to give up that national ranking.
The No. 25 Razorbacks, following their first loss of the season at Florida, rebounded behind 19 points from C’eira Ricketts for a 78-67 win over No. 10 Kentucky on Thursday night.
Arkansas (13-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) evened its conference record, a far cry from last season when it opened SEC play with six straight losses. The Razorbacks started league play 0-4 the year before that.
SWIFTON — Dalton Littleton hit a last-second jump shot in the lane here Thursday night to give the Southside Southerners a 46-44 victory over the Hoxie Mustangs in the last quarterfinal game of the George Kell Classic.
Earlier, the Lady Southerners won their quarterfinal with the Weiner Lady Cardinals 42-30.
The Southerners improved to 11-4 and will face the Izard County Cougars in tonight’s last semifinal. Tipoff is set for 8. The 10-4 Lady Southerners are scheduled to take on the Westside Consolidated Lady Warriors at 6:40 tonight.
The visitors from Jonesboro kept Batesville’s junior high basketball teams winless in the 5A-East District.
Nettleton swept Batesville in games at Pioneer Gym on Thursday. Nettleton’s Junior Lady Raiders won 44-27 and the Junior Raiders won 46-27.
“We played pretty well in the first half, but we really struggled stopping dribble penetration during the third quarter,” Junior Pioneer Coach Kelly Rush said. “We had to help off and their big kid inside, Ronnie Young, got a lot of easy baskets and offensive boards when we did. That just killed us in that quarter.”
Lyon College, a member of the TranSouth Athletic Conference, was listed as one of the honorees for the annual National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics 2009-10 Champions of Character Five Star Award.
The honor is awarded to NAIA institutions which score 60 or more points on a “scorecard.” Points are awarded for character training, conduct of competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Other criteria used are student-athlete grade-point averages and no ejections during competition.
Lyon finished with 64 points.
LEBANON, Tenn. — The Lyon Scots put the Cumberland Bulldogs’ home winning streak in check here Thursday night, but the home team escaped with an 80-73 victory.
Cumberland is unbeaten in all four of its home games this season. The Bulldogs have defeated the Scots in seven straight contests and have not lost to Lyon (6-6, 0-1) at home since 2003.
Thursday’s game was the TranSouth Athletic Conference opener for each team.
LEBANON, Tenn. — K.K. Hodges earned her fourth double-double of the season as she led the Lyon Scots to a 63-44 win over the Cumberland Lady Bulldogs in a TranSouth Athletic Conference opener her Thursday night.
Hodges finished with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds. The senior is eight rebounds away from being Lyon’s all-time leader. Grace Catt-McDowell, who played from 1987-91, is the current leader with 824.