Lonoke carried a three-game winning streak into Tuesday’s regular-season finale against eStem.
Dean Campbell’s team improved to 13-12 after wins over Central Arkansas Christian, Episcopal Collegiate and Mayflower. eStem entered 18-10, including a 64-33 decision over Lonoke.
“It was a really good week,” Campbell said. “We had a little bit of a change in our starting lineup. We’re getting healthier, and that change has given us a little more of a boost. With guys being hurt off and on all year, that’s definitely given us some valuable game experience and makes us a little deeper.”
Coaches from the 2-4A conference — Baptist Prep, CAC, eStem, Heber Springs, Helena-West Helena Central, Riverview, Southside Batesville and Stuttgart — will come to Lonoke on Wednesday to seed for the district tournament, scheduled for Riverview next week.
The district tournament will begin Monday with the 8-9 matchup, the survivor of which will move on to face No. 1 on Tuesday. The second seed will play No. 7 on Tuesday. Wednesday’s schedule will include No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5. Semifinals will be Thursday with the championship and third-place games Saturday.
The top four teams will move on to the Class 4A East Regional at Lonoke in two weeks.
“As long as we’re not 8 or 9, we just have to win one to go to the regional,” Campbell said. “I know that Heber’s had a down year, and I’m not sure how Riverview feels compared to where they were last year. They’ve still got some really good wins, and they’re getting to host the district.
“In the other conference, Stuttgart beat us at home after we were up with two minutes to go. Helena’s in the same conference with Stuttgart. Our seeding could be anywhere from 5 to 7.”
But with the recent lineup tweaks and improving health, Campbell said the Rabbits were playing their best basketball of the season.
DeAngelo Noid and E’Shawn Brown have sparked the starting lineup recently.
“They have increased their production, and so we have put them in the starting lineup,” Campbell said. “That seems to have really worked, and we’re playing well right now.”
The Jackrabbits took care of business in last week’s wins over Episcopal, 75-68; and Mayflower, 65-43.
“Episcopal gives us some issues and problems, but this was a full team effort,” Campbell said. “A lot of guys contributed. We needed to win and keep the momentum going from the CAC game.
“Mayflower was tough. They had some guys out, and our guys unfortunately look and see that they’ve got guys out, and that affects you mentally, how hard you want to play. It shouldn’t, but it does. It was a little bit of a sloppy game, but it was a win.
“It’s still a process, but we’re moving forward.”
Tyriqe Jackson led Lonoke with 17 points. Noid added 15.