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El Dorado falls to red-shot Zebras

by Tony Burns | January 12, 2022 at 1:45 a.m.

Either El Dorado received a bad scouting report or Pine Bluff just had the best shooting night of its life.

The Zebras barely missed, shooting 8-of-11 from 3-point range in the first quarter en route to an 84-65 5A-South win Tuesday night at Wildcat Arena.

By the time Pine Bluff had built a 41-16 lead with 4:50 left in the second quarter, it had drained 10-of-14 shots from beyond the arc.

“I did not expect them to shoot like that. They came out on fire,” said El Dorado coach Jimmy Porter. “Everything we have film-wise and scouting report-wise, obviously, anybody can hit on a given night - I don’t know what the numbers were but they had to have shot 70 percent in the first quarter.”

The Wildcats held Pine Bluff to just two 3-pointers the rest of the way. Pine Bluff led 52-31 at the half and 70-44 going into the final period.

Porter said his team’s defensive game-plan was designed on stopping 6-foot-6 post Jordan Harris, who was held to seven points.

“The first quarter we started off in a zone. Everything we knew was going to go into Harris. So we wanted to take Harris away and make them come out and hit shots,” Porter said. “They definitely proved they were going to hit shots. We had to make the adjustment and go man. I thought we did a pretty good job playing man and still containing Harris for the most part.”

El Dorado made a spurt in the third quarter. Bryson Boulden and Torenzo Dunn hit back-to-back 3-pointers before David Ayree scored a three-point play, which cut the deficit to 58-42.

But the Zebras scored the next five points and went on a 12-2 run to close the third quarter.

“In the third quarter, we tried to break it up into four-minute segments. In the first four, I think we were plus-4 or plus-5. Probably should’ve taken a timeout at that point and given our guys a chance to catch their breath,” said Porter. “But after that plus-4 or plus-5 run, they came back out and had about five or six points in transition to even that out. That’s a learning experience for sure.”

Trayveon Ramos led Pine Bluff with 30 points. Courtney Crutchfield scored 24 and X’zaveon Barnett added 10.

Ayree led the Wildcats with 15 points while Laronte McHenry and Dunn each scored 13 and Boulden 10.

“Pretty proud of our fight. We didn’t quit,” said Porter. “I want to say 65 points is the most we’ve scored in a game. It was good to see the ball go through the net considering how poorly we shot the ball versus Lakeside.”

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