Four games highlight the opening day of the 33rd annual Barry Pruitt Hurricane Classic which begins today at Don Riggs Hurricane Gym.
Jonesboro will begin its season at 7 p.m. against Jacksonville Lighthouse (3-6), while Westside (1-0) opens the tournament at 4 p.m. with an intriguing game against North Little Rock (2-0).
Blytheville (1-0) and Pine Bluff (3-0) will play at 5:30 p.m. and Springdale Har-Ber (3-2) and Batesville Southside (2-0) play at 8:30 p.m.
Jonesboro is coming off a 32-0 season in which the Hurricane claimed the Class 6A state championship.
Last Tuesday, Jonesboro lost its benefit game on the road 57-55 at North Little Rock on a last-second putback. The Hurricane committed 23 turnovers in that game.
Jonesboro has played in every tournament final at the Hurricane Classic since 2002 and has won it four of the past five years.
Senior guard and Arkansas signee Desi Sills and Tony Hutson lead the Hurricane returnees this year, along with junior Kyle Moore.
Former Forrest City Mustang guard Blayton Williams, is expected be an important part of this year’s Hurricane team this year after transferring to Jonesboro.
Jonesboro shooting guard JG Stafford is Jonesboro's only other player coming back with any experience.
Jonesboro's first-round opponent, Jacksonville Lighthouse, features sophomore point guard Devonte Davis, who already holds offers from SMU, Southern Miss and Abilene Christian.
Lighthouse does not have much size but may be one of the quicker teams in the Classic.
Westside opened its season with a 67-40 victory over Harrisburg on Nov. 16.
The Warriors are led by a talented backcourt that includes all-state junior Avery Felts, sophomore Riley Felkins and senior Cullen Felkins.
North Little Rock is regarded as one of the top teams in the state with 6’3”sophomore Moses Moody already holding scholarship offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, while
Pine Bluff and Blytheville is another game Swift said he's looking forward to. "I think that game between
Springdale Har-Ber features a talented backcourt led by junior Tylor Perry and senior Tyler Garrett. Batesville Southside brings back every key player off last year's 24-3 squad, including all-conference forward Alex Brogdon.
The Calvary Eagles varsity boys basketball team opened their season Tuesday with a 50-27 non conference loss to Heritage Baptist Academy in Cordova, Tenn.
Justin McGuire led the Eagles with 11 points, while his brother, Jared and Steven Cox finished with seven points each.
Heritage freshman Caleb Smith led the Hawks with 21 points.
Heritage led 9-5 after the opening quarter and pushed that lead to 25-11 at the half. Heritage outscored the Eagles 25 to 16 in the second half to cement the win.
Calvary’s junior varsity Eagles will be in action Saturday when the face Franklin Road at Central Baptist at 12:30.
The Marianna Lee Lady Trojans stand at 1-1 for the year after defeating Osceola 60-39 in the opening game of the Marianna Classic played Saturday and losing to Dumas 43-39 in a game played Tuesday.
Marianna Lee will play at Star City on Friday and at Helena-West Helena on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
The Lee Academy basketball teams played a four-game set Tuesday at Delta Academy.
The Junior Cougars lost their game 42-14 and the Junior Lady Cougars won but as of press time, there was not final score.
In the varsity games, the Lady Cougars lost 54-32.
Olivia Myers led with 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds and hit 4 threes.
“We came out flat and fell behind 28-10 at the half,” Lee Academy coach John Stoker said. “In the third quarter we got within six points, but Delta hit their free throws in the fourth and pulled away.”
Delta Academy defeated the varsity Cougars 56-26 in the final game of the night.
Talmadge Smith led Lee with 10 points and 10 rebounds to record a “double-double”. He also handed out one assist, made three steals and and had one pass deflection.
The Cougars were playing without Reid Owens, averaging 15 points per game and nine rebounds.
The Cougars trailed by three points after the first quarter and struggled to put up points in the second and third frames.
Delta pulled away late, playing a solid fourth quarter to secure the win.
The Forrest City Junior Lady Mustangs picked up a 20-14 win Tuesday over West Memphis East in a junior girls tournament being played this week at Marion.
Tuesday’s win puts the Junior Lady Mustangs into today’s semifinal game against the host team Marion at 4 p.m.
Marion defeated West Memphis West to advance to the semifinals. Paragould and Wynne will play at 6:30 p.m. and the winner will move into Saturday’s championship game set for 6:30 p.m., against the winner of the Forrest City/Marion semifinal.
Myra Brown led Forrest City with nine points while Bre Page added four.
Forrest City is scheduled to play at West Memphis East Thursday beginning at 5 p.m. with the eighth grade boys, the eighth grade girls at 6 and the junior boys at 7 p.m.
The Batesville Pioneers returned to action Tuesday but ran into a tough Paragould team losing defeated 73-42 to the Rams.
The Pioneers (1-1) fell behind 25-10 after a quarter of play and were playing catch up the rest of the way. The Rams built a 41-15 lead by halftime and took a 59-30 advantage into the final stanza.
Demetrice Holliday led the Pioneers with 21 points while he also hauled in 11 rebounds. Brock Sturdivant and Dylan Clem each added six points. J.P. Morgan pulled down five rebounds and Devin Mask had four.
With the 6A/5A-3 blended conference setup again this season, Batesville is not on the regular season schedule to face Forrest City.
Batesville will play its regular conference schedule within the 6A/5A-2 blended conference with Beebe, Greenbrier, Morrilton, Mountain Home, Searcy and Vilonia.
Forrest City will open 5A-East Conference play Tuesday at Wynne in a senior girls/boys two-game set.
Blytheville opened the nonconference 2017-18 prep basketball season on Friday with a 71-62 victory over the Osceola Seminoles.
Osceola led 20-14 at the end of the first quarter, before Blytheville rallied to lead 32-26 at the half.
Blytheville led 53-49 lead heading into the final quarter.
Blytheville senior guard Treay Jamison iced the win by hitting one of two from the line with 13 seconds left in the game.
Junior Winston Peace led Blytheville with 26 points.
Blytheville will host the Forrest City Mustangs and Lady Mustangs in a 5A-East Conference match up on Jan. 12.