Hurricane breezes past Rams

Quentin Winstine / Paxton News Bureau

Paragould's Blythe Benefiled (13) dribbles the ball past Jonesboro defenders during a basketball game on Tuesday night at PHS.

Jonesboro earned its second 5A-East conference sweep in less than a week Tuesday at Paragould.

The Lady Hurricane had to work for its 42-35 win over the Lady Rams, while the Hurricane got another big night from Jesse Washington and cruised past Paragould 56-31 on Doc Paynter's Court.

Both Jonesboro squads were missing key players Tuesday. Hurricane junior guard Keyln McBride sat out as a precaution to rest his knee and Bradley Richardson remains out with a knee injury.

Lady Hurricane senior guard Destiny Salary missed her second game as she serves a suspension for violating team rules. Earlier Tuesday, Salary was announced as a nominee for the McDonald's All-American Game.

With McBride and Richardson sitting out, some new faces were forced into duty against the Rams. But the Hurricane defense showed up as Jonesboro forced the Rams into 16 turnovers and held Paragould to only 36.1 shooting from the field.

Paragould led 12-10 at the start, but Washington got rolling in the second with 10 points in the quarter as the Hurricane outscored the Rams 18-4 and came back to lead 28-14 at the half.

While Jonesboro was a little sloppy in the third, the Hurricane defense still held Paragould to only 4-of-10 shooting. Ryan Rouse's jumper put Jonesboro on top 37-20 in the third, with a 3-pointer from Amarion Wilson increasing the lead to 40-22.

The Hurricane led 40-24 after three quarters and didn't let up in the fourth, forcing Paragould into five turnovers in the final period.

Washington drilled a 3 for a 54-26 Jonesboro lead in the fourth with a bucket inside from Ja'Quez Henry pushing the lead to 56-26 with 2:20 to play, bringing on a running clock for the final couple of minutes due to the 30-point cushion.

Washington was the only Hurricane to reach double figures as the junior guard finished with 27 points for Jonesboro (8-6, 2-0 5A-East).

Nathan Leer paced Paragould (1-12, 0-2 5A East) with nine points. Sam Freeman followed with eight, Landon Manning had seven, Eli Schreit five and Carter Starling two.

On the night Jonesboro shot 47.5 percent from the field hitting 19-of-40 shots, while the Rams went 13-for-36 from the floor and shot 36.1 percent. Jonesboro finished with 13 turnovers.

Jonesboro 42, Paragould 35 (girls)

A strong start to the fourth quarter helped propel the Lady Hurricane to a 2-0 start in the 5A-East as Jonesboro fought past Paragould 42-35.

Leading 30-28 after three quarters, Jonesboro opened the fourth on an 8-0 run to take control of the game.

Jonesboro's Chasity Jackson opened the fourth by nailing a 3, which was followed by an inside buckets from Destiny Thomas and Kianna Hardaway as the Lady Hurricane lead grew to 38-28 with 5:25 left in the game.

The 10-point cushion proved too much for the Lady Rams to overcome.

Ereauna Hardaway led Jonesboro (7-6) with 10 points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals.

Alex Brengard led Paragould (5-8, 1-1) with 11 points while Blythe Benefield added 10. Olivia Hancock scored nine and Carson Defries finished with five for PHS, which goes to Mountain Home on Friday.

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