By Jacob Pumphrey
Dragon Sports Network
JUNCTION CITY, Ark. – The second day of action at the 86th Dual State Tournament saw the Smackover and Junction City girls and the Nashville and Junction City boys all punch tickets to the finals of their respective brackets on Wednesday evening inside Dragon Arena.
The day’s five-game slate started with a pair of schools from Bradley County battling it out on the court in a quarterfinal matchup of the men’s consolation bracket. Warren withstood a pesky Hermitage squad to claim a 56-44 victory and keep itself alive in the tournament. Once again, Javion Robinson led the Lumberjacks in scoring with 16 points and Cade Wilkerson led the Hermits with 20 points.
The first women’s contest of the afternoon saw the Smackover girls punch the first ticket to Championship Friday with a 52-47 victory over Warren. The Lady Bucks trailed by five, 25-20, at the intermission, but used a 10-4 run in the third period and an offensive-heavy fourth period to move past the Lumberjacks behind Makenzie Malone’s 19 points and Sharnes McGhee’s 18 points. Shakeira Stovall led Warren in scoring with a dozen points.
Game Three on Wednesday afternoon saw the Nashville Scrappers put together another quality outing as they downed Bearden in the Bears tournament opener, 76-44, to advance to Friday’s championship game at 7 p.m. It was all Nashville through four periods of action, despite the Bears managing to cut their deficit to 10 late in the third quarter. An electrifying Darius Hopkins led the Scrappers offensively with 25 points and Bearden’s Cameron Byes collected a team-high 17 points.
The final two games on the schedule included a Junction City double feature as the Lady Dragons picked up their ninth win of the season in their Dual State opener with a 55-29 win over Hermitage to advance to the finals of the winner’s bracket. Camya Hamilton sparked the Lady Dragon attack with 14 points and Taykeetria Rogers followed with eight points. Tayzha Tate led Hermitage in scoring for the second straight game by matching Hamilton with 14 points, while Chelsey McDougald added six points for the Hermits.
The Dragons concluded the night with a 20-point victory over 6-3A foe Fordyce in the teams’ third meeting this winter. Back and forth action dictated the contest in the first half before Junction City clamped down defensively in the final two periods. Offensive leaders in Junction City’s 63-43 win were LaJuan Hill with a team-high 14 points, while Jerrodney Tubbs added a dozen points. Leading scorers for the Redbugs were De’Angelo Morris who dropped a game-high 17 points and Braxton Green who chipped in with 10 points.
Thursday’s action will consist of three consolation games beginning with a 4 p.m. tip-off between Bearden and Warren in a men’s semifinal game in the consolation bracket. The lone women’s contest will begin at approximately 5:15 p.m. with Bearden and Warren playing for a chance to compete in the third-place game on Friday afternoon. The final game tomorrow night will feature the Smackover boys facing the Fordyce boys at 6:30 p.m. in the second men’s semifinal of the consolation bracket.
Live streaming of all the tournament action can be found exclusively on the Dragon Sports Network: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jc-dragons-football?utm_source=crowd-live-backend&utm_medium=visit-channel&utm_campaign=notifications.