The Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits gave Heber Springs a run for its money in the semifinals of the 4A-2 district tournament last week but came up short as the Lady Panthers won 55-48.
Lonoke got off to a quick start, leading 7-4 with 2:42 left in the first quarter. Eboni Willis scored all seven points.
Heber Springs responded with an 11-0 run to lead 15-7 with 6:03 left in the first half.
Heber Springs then led 27-15 at halftime.
Lonoke tried to keep it close in the second half, pulling to within five at 35-30 following a layup by Jarrelyn McCall with 2:08 left in the third quarter. The Lady Panthers outscored Lonoke 5-2 the remainder of the quarter to lead 40-32 heading into the final eight minutes.
Lonoke opened the fourth quarter with a 6-2 run to trail 42-38 with 6:40 left. McCall scored four points while Willis added two.
Heber Springs then pulled back out to a nine-point lead with 1:10 left at 50-41. Lonoke did not go away, scoring five in a row to trail 50-46 with 42.3 seconds left.
From there, the Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Jackrabbits 5-2 to seal the win.
Willis led Lonoke with 24 points. McCall had eight. Kerasha Johnson scored seven. Callie Whitfield added six while Amanda Sexton added three free throws.
Lonoke was scheduled to play Valley View in the first round of the Class 4A East Region tournament at Heber Springs on Wednesday.
If Lady Jackrabbits won, they will play the winner of Newport and Cave City on Friday at 7 p.m. The third-place game is Saturday at noon. The title game is Saturday at 6 p.m.
If Lonoke beat Valley View, it will play in the Class 4A state tournament next week at Cave City.
If Lonoke wins the regional, it will play Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. If they are second, they will play Wednesday at 4 p.m. If they are third, they will play Wednesday at 1 p.m. If they are fourth, they will play Feb. 28 at 1 p.m.