The first conference home game of the season did not go as planned for the Lonoke Jackrabbits.
Pine Bluff Dollarway came into Lonoke and walked out with a 65-39 win, after playing an excellent all-around game.
"They beat us in every aspect of the game," said Lonoke coach Dean Campbell. "Blocking out, taking charges, defense, free throws, everything. We did none of that and they did everything."
Lonoke did jump out to a 5-0 lead in the opening three minutes of the game. A late 8-0 run by Dollarway gave the Cardinals a 16-12 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Cardinals began to pull away in the second quarter, going on a 12-0 run at one point, while the Rabbits struggled from the field and from the line. Lonoke was 8 of 19 from the free throw line, while Dollarway was 11 of 17.
The biggest difference may have come on the blocks, where superb blocking out enabled the Cardinal’s shooting guard to lead all players with 17 rebounds.
"Blocking out isn’t so much about getting the rebound yourself, but making sure the other team doesn’t get to it," Campbell said. "That kind of unselfish play is how a guard or small forward gets that many rebounds. They did a great job with it and we didn’t do it at all."
Dollarway led by as much as 32-15 in the second quarter, before Lonoke crept back into the game behind baskets from Blake Mack, Darrius McCall and Jamel Rankin. Mack led the Jackrabbits with 11 points, while McCall finished with eight points.
A three-pointer by Mack pulled the Rabbits’ deficit to single digits at 41-32 with just over three minutes left in the third quarter. Dollarway answered that three with a 10-0 run that effectively put the game away.
With Stuttgart cancelling Friday’s game due to the football team playing in the Class 4A state championship, the Rabbits have extra time to practice this week and get ready for next week.
"We’ve taken charges the previous four games and haven’t had to do that drill in practice, but we’re going to work on it again now," Campbell said. "We’ve got a good three or four days of practice, not so much to get ready for the next game, but just to get better. If we do what we’ve done all year, what we talk about every day, then that game is closer. Maybe the winner would be same, maybe not, but it would have been closer. Right now I just know they whipped us in every aspect of the game and we some things to get fixed."
Darian Young scored six points for Lonoke, while Reid McKenzie, Caleb Bracy and Rankin each had four points. Zack Risner chipped in a pair of free throws for two points.