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story.lead_photo.caption Little Rock Hall’s Xzavier Madison (right) fi ghts for a rebound with Little Rock Fair’s Mickael Foust during the first half of the Warriors’ 50-39 victory Thursday at Hall High School in Little Rock. - Photo by Thomas Metthe

Little Rock Hall applied the defensive clamps to rival Little Rock Fair Thursday night in the opening round of the Jammin' for Jackets Tournament at George Cirks Arena.

Junior forward Gregory Johnson scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half and the Warriors limited the War Eagles to 11 first-half points in a 50-39 victory.

"I thought he scored it well," Hall Coach Jon Coleman said of Johnson. "But Gregory Johnson is a supreme athlete who can do so much more on the court. That's our plan with him."

Hall (5-1) will play Bryant (5-0) in tonight's first semifinal game.

Fair (4-1) scored the game's first five points, but the War Eagles managed to hit only 3 of 16 first-half shots. Hall got off to a slow start, failing to score until the 11:30 mark of the first half, but the Warriors recovered enough to enjoy a 22-11 halftime advantage.

"That's where we lost the game," said Fair Coach Charlie Johnson, whose team was outscored 17-2 after taking its 5-0 lead. "It was all poor shooting. We were 14 of 42 for the game and you can't beat anyone with that."

Hall picked up six of its eight steals in the first half.

"It was a good defensive effort," said Hall assistant coach Melvin Bullock, who Coleman said is responsible for the Warriors' defense. "We've been working on playing with a high degree of intensity and a certain degree of toughness. We're working on things that's going to make us into a championship defense."

Fair closed to within 36-33 in the second half and had possession of the ball with a chance to tie. The War Eagles, however, threw the ball away and the Warriors scored the next four points.

Junior guard Jonathan Coleman added 11 points for the Warriors while Xzavier Madison and Kevon Cooper led the team with six rebounds each.

Senior Deavon Bankston led the War Eagles with 15 points and six rebounds. Senior Mickael Foust added 11 points.

Hall was 17 of 38 from the floor, including a 6 of 9 showing from three-point range. Fair was 1 of 8 from beyond the arc.

"We were playing more for the crowd than we were to each other," Johnson said. "This was nothing like our first four games. We need to get back to playing like we were."

FAIR (39)

Stafford 2 0-0 4, Sykes 0 0-0 0, Hawkins 3 0-0 6, Bankston 4 6-8 15, Foust 4 3-4 11, Mbani 1 1-2 3, Haynie 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 10-14 39.

HALL (50)

Madison 2 2-3 6, Cooper 2 2-2 7, Coleman 4 0-0 11, Johnson 6 4-6 17, Smith 2 0-0 5, Dismuke 0 0-0 0, Summons 0 0-0 0, Session 1 0-0 2, Peterson 0 2-2 2, Floyd 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 10-13 50.

Halftime -- Hall 22, Fair 11. Three-point goals -- Fair 1 (Bankston); Hall 6 (Coleman 3, Cooper, Johnson, Smith). Team fouls -- Fair 13, Hall 15.

BRYANT 65,

LITTLE ROCK McCLELLAN 54

Trailing 45-40 midway through the second half, the Hornets scored 14 of the next 16 points to take control of the tournament's opening contest.

Senior Sam Chumley led Bryant with 20 points, 11 of which came in the game's first seven minutes. Sophomore Khalen Robinson added 13 points and 6 steals and Deron Canada put in 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Camren Hunter handed out seven assists.

McClellan trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half but rallied to cut Bryant's advantage to 34-31 by halftime. The Lions (1-5) scored 14 of the first 20 points of the second half before Bryant bounced back in front.

Junior Ian Robinson came off the bench to lead McClellan with 15 points. Seniors Rodney Cummings and Sean Cohns each scored 14 points. Cohns also grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three shots. Cummings led the team in steals with four.

BRYANT (65)

Hunter 1 1-2 3, K. Robinson 2 8-9 13, Chumley 9 1-2 20, Lambert 4 0-0 8, Canada 4 2-2 12, Merriweather 1 2-2 5, Wallace 2 0-4 4, Looms 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 14-21 65.

McCLELLAN (54)

Woods 1 0-0 3, Cunningham 0 0-0 0, Doakes 2 0-0 4, Rodgers 1 0-0 2, Cohns 3 8-8 14, Ia. Robinson 7 1-1 15, Dotson 0 0-0 0, Cummings 5 0-0 14, Is. Robinson 1 0-0 2, Edmondson 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 9-9 54.

Halftime -- Bryant 34, McClellan 31. Three-point goals -- Bryant 6 (Canada 2, K. Robinson, Chumley, Merriweather); McClellan 5 (Cummings 4, Woods). Team fouls -- Bryant 12, McClellan 20. Fouled out -- Ia. Robinson

Sports on 12/08/2017

Print Headline: LR Hall uses its defense, Johnson to hamper Fair

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