PREP BASKETBALL: Little Rock Christian pulls away in first half against Warren Lumberjacks

FARMINGTON -- The defending state champion made an impressive debut Friday in the Class 4A state tournament at Cardinal Arena.

Little Rock Christian built a 13-point lead at halftime and rolled to a 67-40 victory over Warren in a quarterfinal game. The Warriors will face Brookland in a semifinal game today at 7:30 p.m.

Little Rock Christian captured the Class 4A state championship last year with a 74-54 victory over Blytheville.

The Warriors (26-7) needed only two quarters to take control against Warren (13-7), which beat Subiaco Academy 84-79 in a first-round game.

Little Rock Christian had a first-round bye for winning the 4A-East Regional Tournament at Brookland last week. JJ Andrews converted a three-point play to break a 17-17 tie and the Warriors ended the first half in style when Landren Blocker and Jameel Wesley each broke away for dunks that excited Little Rock Christian supporters who made the trip to Northwest Arkansas.

Wesley scored 16 points and Blocker 15 to lead Little Rock Christian, which returned four starters from last year's state championship team. The Warriors emptied the bench in the second half and nine players contributed points.

"You get those byes and you don't play until Friday and somebody else gets to play, you're a little tight," Little Rock Christian Coach Kyle Pennington said. "Once we loosened up, you saw who our team really is."

Antonio Jordan scored 33 points and Tramond Miller had 32 when Warren beat Subiaco Academy in a first-round game. Jordan had 17 points and Miller just seven against the Warriors, who outscored the Lumberjacks 21-8 in the second quarter.

"About midway through the second quarter, defensively we turned it up and that changed the game," Pennington said.

Jordan opened the second half with a three-pointer to give Warren some faint hope of a comeback after cutting its deficit to 32-22. But Wesley countered with a three-pointer and the Warriors' lead grew to 47-27 when Corliss Williamson Jr. made a three-pointer early in the third quarter.

Friday was Little Rock Christian's first game since beating Brookland in the regional tournament on the Bearcats' home court. Pennington said that tough environment helped the Warriors prepare for state tournament play on the road.

"That regional tournament was very beneficial, taking a team up there, staying in a hotel, and playing in front of a raucous crowd," Pennington said. "That helped, definitely."


Brookland used its outside shooting to rally from a 21-6 deficit and eliminate Camden Fairview.

Briar Allred made seven three-pointers and finished with 25 points to lead Brookland. Allred, Lane Webster and Tyler Parham each made three-pointers to give Brookland a 50-41 lead after three quarters.

Allred connected again from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter to prompt a Camden Fairview timeout with the Cardinals trailing 56-45 with six minutes to play.

Cole Kirby scored 13 points for Brookland (28-5), while Parham and Webster added 12 apiece. Darrell Atkins scored 14 points to lead Camden Fairview (22-9).

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