Lonoke’s Lady Jackrabbits get another shot at Class 4A’s top-ranked Central Arkansas Christian and UConn signee Christyn Williams on Friday, but they’ll have to travel to Mustang Mountain for the chance to knock off the 21-1 Lady Mustangs.
“If you’re going to be a good team, you’ve got to win some big games on the road,” Lonoke coach Heath Swiney said Sunday. “We’re going to see if we can’t go win a big game on the road.
“This is a good test for us.”
CAC has lost only to Class 7A Conway, the state’s top-ranked team, in the championship game of the Danny and Dandra Thomas Invitational in Conway.
The Lady Mustangs knocked off the Lady Jackrabbits at the Gina Cox Center in December, 58-50.
Before CAC, Lonoke will play at Baptist Prep (6-9 to open the week) Wednesday in a game that was rescheduled because of last week’s snow.
Lonoke will play host to Episcopal Collegiate on Tuesday, Jan. 30, and Mayflower for Senior Night on Feb. 2 before traveling to eStem (14-2 at press time) in the regular-season finale.
The Lady Jackrabbits are behind CAC and eStem in the conference race.
“CAC and eStem are going to have some big implications on where you fall when it comes to seeding for the district tournament when we all meet in a couple of weeks,” Swiney said. “After CAC, we just have to try to be real careful not to look ahead to eStem.”
So how will the Lady Rabbits approach CAC?
“When you try to exploit something, it seems like Christyn just picks up the slack,” Swiney said. “They’re probably a little bit better this year. That freshman (Bethany Dillard) has helped them out a lot.”
Keys for the Lady Rabbits?
“Last time, every time there was a chance for us to take the lead or tie it, we’d either not get that big rebound and they’d get it for an easy basket, or we’d have a loose ball bounce off us and go to them for a layup,” Swiney said. “We’ve just got to get that big bucket or big rebound.
“Certain times are crucial, and you’ve got to make a shot. With three or four minutes to go in the last game and we were down one, we missed on a point-blank layup. We do that, and the pressure’s on them to come down and score.
“That’s got to happen.”
Episcopal’s Lady Wildcats opened the week 4-11 overall, including a 51-19 loss to Lonoke.
Last week, Lonoke beat LISA Academy, 56-16. The Lady Jackrabbits dominated, leading after one quarter, 29-2; at halftime, 47-9; and after three quarters, 47-14.
“None of the six that play (regularly) played in the second half at all,” Swiney said.
Keiunna Walker led the Lady Jackrabbits with 23 first-half points. Mia Brown added nine and Arius McClain eight, all in the first half.