#TitleTown: North Little Rock wins, again

It was one for the thumb on Thursday afternoon in Hot Springs.

North Little Rock defeated Little Rock Central, 65-55, in the 6A Boys State Championship game at Bank OZK Arena.

This was North Little Rock coach Johnny Rice’s fifth state championship in six tries. Rice, a North Little Rock lifer, has been the head coach at the school for nine years.

It was senior guard D.J. Smith who came to play for the ‘Cats. Smith finished the game with 26 points, while Kel’el, North Little Rock’s 7-foot center and a junior, added 19, including an emphatic dunk in the game’s final minute.

Ware, who also pulled down eight rebounds, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player for his efforts.

This was the third time North Little Rock and Little Rock Central have played this season, with the Tigers having won the previous two games and it looked like they were well on their way in the first quarter as they were up 18-10.

North Little Rock is now 21-2 as the season is over. Little Rock Central ends the year at 24-5.

Key to North Little Rock’s win was the defensive effort by the Cats as they held star sophomore guard Bryson Warren to just 10 points. He had come into the game averaging 24 points.

This is North Little Rock’s 15 state basketball championship.