JONESBORO, Ark. – The Rossview Hawks (Rossview, TN) defeated the Jonesboro Golden Hurricane 54-52 on Friday night at Don Riggs Hurricane Gymnasium, moving on to the championship game against the Bartlett Bulldogs (Bartlett, TN) in the 38th Annual Barry Pruitt Hurricane Classic.
The championship game will be on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Bartlett defeated the Fayetteville Bulldogs 59-44, resulting in Jonesboro playing Fayetteville on Saturday at 4 p.m for third place in the tournament.
Bartlett center and Arkansas State signee R’Chaun King scored 13 points in the win.
Jonesboro head coach Wes Swift explained where his team is at and things they need to improve on after the result of their loss to Rossview.
“This is a team that has to get a lot better. We had a lot of self-inflicted wounds tonight. We had a double-team on the ball on the sideline that was split. That’s unacceptable. In a trap you don’t foul and you don’t split and they got an and-one. If you don’t clean that stuff up, you’re going to lose a lot of close games,” Swift said.
It was a back-and-forth game, while Jonesboro led 28-23 at halftime. Coach Swift feels like his defense was the main concern in the loss.
“We’re more concerned on the defensive end. When you’re up by nine points during the game and the crowd is going crazy, from that point on, I thought we played some really badbasketball,” Swift said.
Despite the loss, Jonesboro had two players with double-digit points. Luke Baltz led the team with 13 points and three, three-pointers.
Baltz also made all four of his free-throws. CJ Larry was right behind Baltz in scoring with 11 points.
Coach Swift also discussed the mentality heading into day three of the tournament.
“We knew whether we were playing at 4 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. (On Saturday), we were going to be a decisive underdog. I think these (Bartlett and Rossview) are arguably the two best teams in the tournament. We better pick ourselves up off the mat or we could get beat badly tomorrow,” Swift said.
The Nettleton Raiders defeated the Marked Tree Indians 71-45. The West Memphis Blue Devils beat the Osceola Seminoles 56-48.
Nettleton will face West Memphis on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. for fifth place in the tournament, while Osceola plays Cedar Ridge on Saturday at 1 p.m. for seventh place.
Marked Tree filled in for Cedar Ridge against Nettleton, but Cedar Ridge will be back for the last day of the tournament.
NOTE: Feature photo shows Arkansas State signee signee R’Chaun King of Bartlett.