Little Rock Christian Coach Clarence Finley will have his Warriors in the Class 5A state tournament after a 67-49 victory over Little Rock McClellan in the 5A-Central Conference tournament Wednesday at Maumelle High School.
The Warriors (20-7) will play Little Rock Fair in a semifinal game at 8:15 p.m. today.
Finley, who led Pine Bluff to the Class 6A state championship in 2015 and arrived at Little Rock Christian in 2017, was pleased with his team's performance in getting to the state tournament.
"It's the second year of our program. We're making some strides with some young kids in our program," Finley said. "I'm very happy with the progress we're making with our seventh-graders through our 12th-graders.
"Being able to advance tonight is special to our program."
Justice Hill, a University of Arkansas, Fayetteville signee, finished with 16 points for the Warriors, who shot 27 of 38 from the floor. Willie Chapple and Will Strickland each had 12 points, and Chris Hightower added 10.
McClellan pulled within 30-22 late in the second quarter, but Hill drove for a layup and was fouled by Johnnie White. Hill completed the three-point play with 18.8 seconds left in the first half for a 33-22 lead, which was the halftime score.
Little Rock Christian pulled away in the third quarter, as Hill scored six consecutive points to extend the Warriors' lead to 46-27. It was 52-34 Warriors at the end of the third quarter.
The Crimson Lions (8-17) were led by Jaylin Cunningham and Elijah Green, who each had seven points.
Little Rock Christian will get two more games before the state tournament, beginning with Little Rock Fair today.
Finley is ready for the challenge of facing the War Eagles for a third time this season, then having either a championship or a consolation game Friday night against Mills, Little Rock Parkview or Pulaski Academy.
"Not only the top teams in our conference, but the top teams in the state," Finley said. "Every night is a dogfight. They're not going to do anything but make you better for the state tournament."
Sports on 02/22/2018
Print Headline: Hill scores 16 as LR Christian downs McClellan