Jonesboro high boys and girls basketball both looking for back-to-back state titles

The Hurricane and Lady Hurricane are defending 5A State Champions.
The Hurricane and Lady Hurricane are defending 5A State Champions.(KAIT-TV)
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 11:27 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - It’s been a phenomenal season for Jonesboro basketball.

Both teams will be competing for their second straight State Title Thursday. The Lady Hurricane will take on Greenwood at noon and on the boys side, it will be an all-NEA matchup for the 5A Championship as JHS will take on Marion at 1:45.

The Hurricane are 2-0 against the Patriots this season, with the last matchup a seven-point win on the road in the regular-season finale.

“We’re preparing mentally and physically because it’s like they say you can’t beat a team three times,” senior and Oklahoma State signee Quion Williams said. “We’re trying to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

JHS finished regular season play 14-0 in 5A East. The defense has been the story in the playoffs, only allowing a high of 39 points and winning games by an average margin of nearly 33 points per game.

“All the seniors, they push us, especially Quion, he’s forcing me to get better every day,” Junior forward Isaac Harrell said. “Just working together as a team to grow and win another game, one more game... I love this team to be honest with you like we all joke around, but when it’s time to be serious, we all lock in and we grow together.”

The Lady Hurricane will face a team they’ve faced in each of the last two State Tournaments in Greenwood.

“When you step out under those lights, I don’t care how many times you’ve actually done it is still kind of gives you the chills,” Head Coach Jodi Christenberry said. “When we get to this point in time, you don’t get to this point without kids who are really goal-driven and who are focused on what they want. And right now that these kids are ready, and these kids are focused on bringing home that championship.”

The Lady Bulldogs ended Jonesboro’s season in the first round two years ago, then the Lady Hurricane returned the favor last season.

Now, Jonesboro enters the State Championship game on a 15-game winning streak.

“We actually have been practicing with the junior high boys and they’ve been pushing us to go harder,” North Texas signee Ereauna Hardaway said. “They actually make it tougher since they’re so tall and athletic so that’s what’s been preparing us this week.”

“It means a lot, especially being a senior being up here with this team,” Memphis signee Destiny Thomas added. “Just the years, going three years in a row but going two years for this team.”

For both teams, it has been a program that’s easy for the community to rally behind.

“It’s awesome because our seniors have gone to school here their whole lives,” Head Coach Wes Swift said. “This group, everybody, the whole city knows these kids.”

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