March 09, 2011 Edition

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Tadd Fore moves the ball for the Zebras in their semifinal win over Kirby Saturday night. In the background are Joe Paul Carey (#00) and Hunter Horton. Black Rock won 63-50 to advance to the finals.
Submitted Photos ~ Debbie Richey

Zebras advance to state finals



Tyler Newell shoots over a Kirby defender during the semifinals of the Class 1A State Basketball Tournament at Calico Rock on Saturday night.


Black Rock's Tyler Roby grabs a rebound during the Zebras' first-round 74-57 victory over Jasper on Thursday.
Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Black Rock Zebras never trailed en route to defeating the Kirby Trojans 63-50 in the semifinals of the Class 1A State Basketball Tournament Saturday at Calico Rock.

Black Rock will play 1A-3 East conference rival Bay for the state championship at 5:15 p.m. Thursday at the Summit Arena in Hot Springs. The Zebras and Yellowjackets split their two regular-season meetings, with each team winning on its home floor. Black Rock hosted the district tournament and defeated the Yellowjackets 74-70 in the finals.

Against Kirby, Black Rock jumped out to a 12-2 lead before the Trojans closed to within 12-8 at the end of the first quarter. The Zebras then extended their lead to 28-21 at halftime and 41-31 after three periods. Kirby cut the Zebras' lead to 45-39 with four minutes to play, but Black Rock went on an 18-11 run to close out the game.

Joe Paul Carey led Black Rock with 29 points, six rebounds and five steals. Sam Clem scored 10 points, and Tyler Newell had eight. Tadd Fore finished with seven points, and Hunter Horton added six.

Sacred Heart

Black Rock had to overcome an early deficit to defeat Sacred Heart 75-62 in the quarterfinals of the state tournament on Friday.

Sacred Heart led 20-17 after a quarter before Black Rock outscored the Rebels 20-13 in the second period to take a 37-33 advantage into the locker room at halftime. The Zebras began the fourth quarter with a 52-46 lead and outscored Sacred Heart 23-16 in the final period to put the game away.

Newell led Black Rock with a game-high 24 points. Fore scored 18 points, and Carey added 13. Clem finished with 11 points.

Jasper

The Zebras used a balanced offensive output in defeating the Jasper Pirates 74-57 in the first round of the state tournament on Thursday.

The game was tied 16-16 at the end of the first quarter before Black Rock took control of the game in the second period, outscoring the Pirates 21-14 to extend to a 37-30 halftime lead. The Zebras continued to pull away in the second half, taking a commanding 57-40 lead into the final period.

Fore, Newell and Carey each scored 14 points, while Khris Foster added 12 for Black Rock. Clem added nine points, and Horton finished with nine points and 12 rebounds.

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