The Lonoke Jackrabbits bounced back from their conference opening loss to Pine Bluff Dollarway by routing the Southside Batesville Southerners 58-39 on Tuesday at the LHS gymnasium.
Lonoke (4-2, 1-1 4A-2) lost to the Cardinals 65-39 last week in the 4A-2 opener.
"Sometimes, you need a game like that to slap you in the face and wake you up," Lonoke coach Dean Campbell said. "We spent a couple of hours watching film on Wednesday. It was more of the mental part and let our bodies rest. Thursday was nothing but blocking out drills and running. Friday was working on closeouts and keeping the ball out of the middle of the floor. Yesterday [Monday] we worked on helping on rotations.
"Our straight focus was nothing but us getting better on the defensive end and and finishing on the defensive end. I thought we did a better job of that tonight."
The Jackrabbits came out hot, scoring the game’s first 10 points. Jamel Rankin scored four during the run while Blake Mack, Darrius McCall and Reid McKenzie each scored two points.
Southside got on the board on a three-pointer by Jacob Rawlings with 5:18 left.
Lonoke maintained the lead, going up 20-11 after one quarter.
Southside scored the first seven points of the second quarter to cut Lonoke’s lead to 20-18. The Jackrabbits stopped the bleeding with an 8-0 run to end the half. Zack Risner hit a short jumper then Tykel Gray and McCall hit consecutive three-pointers to give the Jackrabbits a 28-18 halftime lead.
The Jackrabbits led 30-18 early in the second half on a putback by McKenzie. Southside’s Jake Henderson then scored with 6:49 left in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 30-20.
From there, Lonoke scored 10 consecutive points and 17 of 20 to lead 47-23 with 52 seconds left in the third quarter.
Mack started the run with a three-pointer. Rankin then hit a jumper in the late. McCall then scored five in a row before Southside’s Trey Sisk hit a three-pointer with 2:20 left.
Rankin responded with a steal and conventional three-point play. Mack then hit two free throws and Darian Young hit a layup to account for the run.
Lonoke’s largest lead was 25 points at 56-31 following layups by Caleb Bracy and Gray.
"Things came easy," Campbell said. "That’s what I was telling the guys on the bench when we came out hot early in the first quarter. Things were coming too easy and we’re going to have to be able to defend and stop them.
"We were getting good shots. I felt like they were a little quick but things were fine because they were going in. I thought in the second quarter, we continued to take some quick shots and didn’t hit them."
Campbell said that allowed the Southerners to get back into the game.
"At halftime, we talked about continuing to move the ball, get it side to side, good diagonal passes — just good offensive principles."
Rankin led Lonoke with 15 points. He also grabbed four rebounds. McCall had 10 points. McKenzie had eight points and seven boards. Mack scored six points. Gray had five. Dra Offord and Young had four points each. Scoring two each were Bracy, Brenton Bryant and Risner.
Sisk led Southside with eight points.
The Lonoke Junior Jackrabbits rallied from an 8-0 first quarter deficit to beat Southside Batesville 31-25 on Tuesday.
Justin Meadows led Lonoke with 11 points. Jawuan Bryant had eight. Isaac Toney scored six. Bryson Jackson had four. Anthony Morris scored two.
Lonoke also beat Bradford 44-12 on Monday.
Lonoke led 6-2 after one quarter and 22-4 at halftime.
Meadows led Lonoke with 11 points.Tamarren Moore had seven. Bryant had six. Jackson and Morris had four points each. Scoring two each were Haven Hunter, Tyler Spencer, Micahel Kelly and Toney.