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Mother Nature forced a premature end to the 6A-East Conference third-place game between Little Rock Hall and Pine Bluff at George Cirks Arena on Saturday.

Officials from both schools decided to end the game with 2:01 left in the third quarter for safety reasons after water began dripping on the court because of a leak in the roof. Thunderstorms swept through the area Saturday afternoon, causing high winds and heavy rainfall.

At the time of the stoppage, Pine Bluff was leading 37-34. After a 59-minute delay, athletic directors and coaches agreed to call the game and not resume at a later date because the Class 6A state tournament begins this week in West Memphis.

The Zebras were awarded the conference's No. 3 seed, since they were leading at the time, while the Warriors were assigned the No. 4 spot.

"The coaches, we sweated out as long as we could," Pine Bluff Coach Billy Dixon said. "The ADs deferred at the beginning to let the coaches decide on what we wanted to do. So we both were willing to wait, and then finally the ADs came in, said it's been long enough and made the call."

Little Rock Hall Coach Jon Coleman said he agreed with the final decision based on the safety aspect but admitted he would have liked to see the game finished, especially since his team was in the midst of a huge comeback.

The Warriors were 4-of-20 shooting and committed 12 turnovers over the first two quarters. The game was tied at 9-9, but a three-pointer from Pine Bluff junior guard Kaleb Higgins started a 15-0 run for the Zebras, who eventually grabbed a 28-13 lead at halftime.

Hall sprinted out on a 13-2 run to start the third quarter and pulled within 37-34 when played was halted. Players and coaches were sent to their respective locker rooms, with the expectation the game would resume, but with rain continuing to fall outside, there was no choice but to end the game as it stood.

"We were down 15 at half, and with two minutes to go in the third quarter, it was a one-possession basketball game," Coleman said. "The momentum was clearly on our side, but in saying that, we were going to be the third or fourth seed anyway, and the teams that we were going to play were basically on the same level."

Juniors Greg Johnson and Jonathan Coleman had 13 and 10 points, respectively, to lead Hall (22-7) while senior guard Jyrimee Thompson had 10 points for Pine Bluff (15-10).

Sports on 02/25/2018

Print Headline: Leaky roof gives PB victory

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