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WEST MEMPHIS -- It took West Memphis a quarter to get going, but once it did the Pine Bluff Zebras could not keep up.

Pine Bluff held an early seven-point lead, but the Blue Devils turned up the heat and got hot from the field in the second quarter to post a 73-56 victory over the Zebras in a 6A-East Conference tournament semifinal at Lehr Arena.

The visitors forced four early West Memphis turnovers and held a 14-7 lead in the first quarter, but the Blue Devils (26-2) scored the last two baskets of the quarter to trim Pine Bluff's lead to 18-15. West Memphis, behind 3 three-pointers from Curtis Washington and C.J. Prackett, hit 9 of 13 shots in the second quarter on the way to a 36-29 halftime lead.

"When we got down in the first quarter, I told one of my assistants this is good for us," West Memphis Coach Marcus Brown said. "We didn't match [Pine Bluff's] intensity right off the bat, and it took us awhile to get the fog out of our heads."

The hot shooting for West Memphis didn't stop in the second quarter. The Blue Devils canned 10 of 17 from the floor, including 3 of 4 from three-point range.

West Memphis used a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter to build a 57-33 lead after two consecutive three-pointers from Washington, who scored 11 points. West Memphis led 59-38 after three quarters.

Sophomore Chris Moore scored a game-high 17 points, which included four dunks. Washington added four assists, which tied Calvin Paige for the team lead in that category. Zach Byrd and sixth man Sidney Stinson scored 12 apiece.

Kaleb Higgins topped Pine Bluff's offense with 16 points. Jyrimee Thompson added 14 points and Kendrick Thorn scored 11.

Sports on 02/21/2018

Print Headline: W. Memphis kicks in high gear after quarter

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