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COMMERCIAL PRESS SERVICES

STUTTGART — Despite a 25-point performance by Clarendon’s Jermaine Jackson, Pine Bluff opened its boys basketball season Wednesday with a 54-43 victory over the Lions in the Ricebird Invitational.

The Zebras will play Brinkley at 8:50 tonight in Stuttgart.

Darrian Kee led the Zebras with 19 points. Rickey Clements Jr. added 11 points and Marcus Barnes had seven.

Pine Bluff got off to a shaky start in its opener but settled down by the middle of the second half, assistant coach Carl Smith said.

GIRLS

Watson Chapel 50, Mount St. Mary 36

LITTLE ROCK — Kamera Bozeman scored 22 points, and Watson Chapel (2-0) scored 23 points in the fourth quarter to pull away from host Mount St. Mary and reach the championship game of the Heavenly Hoops tournament.

The defending 5A champion will take on Star City, which beat Russellville 38-37 in overtime, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Watson Chapel led 23-17 at halftime but was held to four points in the third quarter.

“We settled down and just did a better job of getting it to (Bozeman) in the fourth,” Lady Wildcats coach Leslie Henderson said.

Star City 38, Russellville 37, OT

LITTLE ROCK — Olydia Thornton scored on a putback off the glass with 1 second left to lift the Class 4A Lady Bulldogs (5-0) over the 6A Lady Cyclones.

Tyeshia Harris scored 15 points to lead Star City, which took advantage of big plays down the stretch.

“We played great defense in the second half,” coach Becky Brown said. “Kindra Redix made some big free throws and Kashima Williams hit a big 3. The kids never quit.”

Russellville led 19-15 at halftime. The game was tied at 32 at the end of regulation.