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Thursday, January 18, 2018, 4:03 a.m.

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6A/5A-4 BOYS

LR Hall returns to its winning ways

By ERICK TAYLOR SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

This article was published January 13, 2018 at 2:07 a.m.

The new year hasn't been kind to Little Rock Hall, but the Warriors have reason to be optimistic about their chances the rest of the way after picking up a pivotal road victory Friday night at Little Rock Christian.

Hall went 10 of 14 from the free-throw line over the game's final two minutes and got key rebounds to escape Little Rock Christian 44-42 in front of a packed Warrior Gymnasium.

"We needed that one bad, for a lot of reasons," Hall Coach Jon Coleman said. "We had a great December, but we haven't done anything in 2018. With [Little Rock Christian] having beaten Little Rock Parkview and us playing on the road in this lively atmosphere. ... we just wanted to compete.

"I told them to not worry about the outcome, just compete, and I thought they competed their tails off."

Hall (12-5, 1-3 6A/5A-4) hadn't won since beating Bryant 49-42 in the Coke Classic championship game in Fort Smith on Dec. 30. The Warriors had lost all three of their previous league games since, including a 21-point drubbing at Parkview on Jan. 2, but Hall got back to its winning ways behind a strong game from Kevon Cooper.

The junior center had 18 points, 16 rebounds and 5 blocks for the Warriors, who struggled shooting for much of the night but found its stroke from the foul line when it mattered most. Junior forward Greg Johnson added nine points and 10 rebounds.

Junior guard Justice Hill had 18 points to lead Little Rock Christian (12-4, 3-1), which saw its six-game winning streak snapped.

"We just didn't do enough to win," Little Rock Christian Coach Clarence Finley said. "We played well enough defensively to win, but the little things are what cost us, especially the 50-50 balls and free-throw shooting. And then Cooper gave us fits inside."

LR HALL (44)

Cooper 6 5-7 18, Smith 2 1-4 5, Johnson 2 5-7 9, Coleman 0 3-5 3, Dismuke 1 0-0 3, Peterson 3 0-0 6, Summons 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 14-23 44.

LR CHRISTIAN (42)

Strickland 2 0-0 6, Hill 8 0-3 18, Grawer 0 0-0 0, Hightower 1 0-0 2, Moore 3 0-2 8, Finley 1 0-0 2, Chapple 2 0-5 2, Bennett 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 0-10 42.

LR Hall (12-5) 10 9 7 18 -- 44

LR Christian (12-4) 8 9 7 18 -- 42

Three-point goals -- LR Hall 2 (Cooper, Dismuke), LR Christian 6 (Hill 2, Strickland 2, Moore 2). Total fouls -- LR Hall 14, LR Christian 18. Fouled out -- Cooper.

Sports on 01/13/2018

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