March 16, 2011 Edition

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Tadd Fore moves the ball down the floor for the Zebras as he is guarded by a Bay player. The conference rivals faced off for the fourth time of the season, with the Yellowjackets claiming the state title with a 67-40 victory. Each team won two games in the series.
Submitted photos ~ Debbie Richey

Zebras are state runners-up



Black Rock's Hunter Horton pulls down a rebound in the Class 1A basketball finals. The Zebras added state runners-up to their many accolades for the 2010-11 basketball season.
Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

A memorable season for the Black Rock Zebras ended one victory shy of a state championship. The Zebras lost to the Bay Yellowjackets 67-40 in the finals of the boys Class 1A State Basketball Tournament on Thursday at Summit Arena in Hot Springs.

It was the fourth meeting of the season for the 1A-3 East conference rivals. The teams split their regular-season matchups, with each team winning on its home court. Black Rock defeated Bay 74-70 in the finals of the district tournament on the Zebras' home court.

Black Rock became the first boys basketball team from Lawrence County to reach the state finals. The Sloan-Hendrix senior high girls were state runners-up in 1993.

"Our ball team worked extremely hard for the opportunity to win a state championship," said head coach Jeff Womack. "We put ourselves in the position to do it, but unfortunately came up one game short."

Against Bay, the Zebras were plagued by cold shooting from the outset, hitting only 17-of-50 shots for the game and converting only one-of-22 three-point attempts.

Bay, on the other hand, came out red-hot, hitting seven-of-10 field goal attempts in the first quarter to build a 17-9 advantage. The Yellowjackets outscored Black Rock 16-8 in the second period to extend their lead to 33-17 at the end of the first half and carried a 46-28 advantage into the final quarter.

Tyler Newell led Black Rock in scoring with 10 points, while Tadd Fore added nine. Joe Paul Carey and Hunter Horton each finished with six points. Horton also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. Tyler Roby scored five points, and Sam Clem had four.

The Zebras finished the season with 36 wins and only six losses.

"I would just like to say how much I enjoyed this season," said Womack. "It was a season that many coaches dream of, and I feel blessed to have experienced it."

"I would also like to say how much we appreciate all of the community support that we got along the way. They were behind us no matter what. Thanks for being a part of our season," added Womack.

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