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6A/5A-4 BOYS: Fair's second act vs. Hall pleases Johnson

Little Rock Fair Coach Charlie Johnson said he coached two games at War Eagle Gymnasium on Tuesday.

The second one pleased him.

Led by senior forwards Mickael Foust and Deavon Bankston, Fair overcame a three-point first quarter, a 15-point third-quarter deficit and Little Rock Hall for a 40-35 victory Tuesday night.

"It was like two games," Johnson said. "They played a game and then we played a game, but I think we got the better game in."

Bankston led Fair (20-4) with 15 points. Foust scored 11.

Fair trailed 25-15 after junior guard Greg Johnson's three-point play with 4:52 left in the third quarter, but Fair was within 28-25 at the start of the fourth.

Johnson led Hall (20-6) with 16 points.

"We played a good first half, but we came out in the second half and had some letdowns," Hall Coach Jon Coleman said. "I knew it would be a dogfight."

Foust scored on a layup and was fouled with 4:07 left in the game. He hit his free throw to complete the three-point play and tie the score at 32-32. It was the game's first tie.

Two possessions later, senior guard Jeanvie Mbani's jump shot from the key gave Fair its first lead at 34-32 with 3:28 left.

With the scored tied 34-34, Mbani threw the ball out of bounds in the Fair frontcourt as he looked for Foust near the baseline. Hall responded with a drive at the other end, where a slam-dunk attempt by 6-7 junior center Kevon Cooper was slapped away by the 6-2 Foust.

"That block was a turning point right then and there," Johnson said. "I think that kind of got to them a little bit, denying a sure basket at a crucial point in the game."

A free throw by Cooper tied the score at 35-35 with 1:06 left, but the Warriors missed all five of its field-goal attempts in the final minute.

A steal and a three-point play by junior guard Jacori Cranford gave Fair a 38-35 lead with 42 seconds left. Two free throws by Mbani completed the scoring with 14 seconds remaining.

"We just told them that we had to start playing as a team," Johnson said. "We were doing too much one-on-one stuff, but once we started playing as a team, things started coming together for us."

"I give Fair credit," Coleman said. "They played hard defensively. They could've folded, but they didn't. They played a good basketball game."

LR Hall (35)

Loring 0 0-0 0, Dismuke 0 0-0 0, Madison 2 0-1 4, Cooper 3 2-5 8, Johnson 6 4-5 16, Smith 2 1-3 5, Peterson 0 0-0 0, Coleman 0 2-2 2. Totals 13 9-16 35

LR Fair (40)

Cranford 1 1-1 3, Stafford 1 0-0 2, Mbani 2 2-2 6, Sykes 1 1-3 3, Hawkins 0 0-0 0, Bankston 7 0-0 15, Foust 3 5-9 11. Totals 15 9-15 40

LR Hall (20-6) 12 8 8 7 -- 35

LR Fair (20-4) 3 8 14 15 -- 40

Three-point shots -- LR Hall 0; LR Fair 1 (Bankston). Total fouls -- LR Hall 15; LR Fair 18. Fouled out -- Sykes, Hawkins, LR Fair. Technicals -- Sykes, Hawkins, LR Fair

Sports on 02/14/2018

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