No jet lag

PINE BLUFF — A seek and destroy mindset erased any jet lag Westminster (Fla.) may have had Wednesday afternoon.

The Lions got a combined 47 points from Jeremiah Police, Alex Lloyd and Alex Contanza to run past Little Rock Christian 58-43 during the first round of the King Cotton Holiday Classic at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Westminster arrived in Arkansas on Tuesday – a little more than 24 hours before its opener in the Creed bracket – but made itself right at home.

Police finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists for the Lions, who trailed for less than a minute and used their length to make things uncomfortable for the Warriors.

Lloyd, a 6-3 junior who has offers from several Power 5 programs, like Florida, Florida State, LSU and Miami, had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists while Contanza, a 6-8 forward who’s ranked as the No. 7 player in the Class of 2026 by ESPN, ended with 15 points and nine rebounds.

“We just wanted to come out with a kill mindset on both ends of the floor,” said Contanza, who’s being heavily pursued by schools like Alabama, Auburn, Illinois and Washington. “Coming out, we wanted to get after it. We knew [Little Rock Christian] was gonna play a lot of zone so we had to be patient and play our game.” The Lions’ game included clamping down defensively on Little Rock Christian (10-4).

The Warriors shot 18 of 59 (30.5%), including just 5 of 27 (18.5%) from behind the three-point line. At one point, Little Rock Christian missed 13 consecutive shots spanning the first and second quarters.

J.J. Andrews had 14 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists while Landren Blocker added 10 points and five rebounds before fouling out in the third quarter for the Warriors.

Blocker’s dunk with 4:26 left in the first period gave Little Rock Christian a 5-4 lead, but it didn’t make another field goal until Jameel Wesley hit a runner in the lane with 5:56 remaining in the second.

The Lions were able to build a lead over that stretch and took a 25-17 lead into halftime.

“Little Rock Christian is a good team, and they won a state championship last year,” Westminster Coach Ehren Wallhoff said. “They’ve got really good players so it was important for us to come out and play well early. I thought we did a good job against their zone, too. Our guys are well versed in that, and they executed well.” Blocker fouled out at the 3:50 mark of the third quarter, but the Warriors were still within 40-32 at the start of the fourth. But the Lions scored the first 12 points of the period — all from Police, Lloyd and Contanza — to establish a 20-point lead.

“It’s pretty much our mentality to come out and impose our will on teams,” Police said. “We were able to do that, and we came out with the win.” Westminster also shot 23 of 44 (52.3%) from the field, which helped offset its 16 turnovers.


A 10-2 run to end the first quarter propelled Sandy Creek (8-1).

P.J. Green scored 14 points for the Patriots, who led by as many as 18 points in the second half and shot 24 of 50 (48%) for the game. Amari Brown and Jared White had 13 points apiece for Sandy Creek.

Jai’Chaunn Hayes tallied 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists for White Hall (8-6), which shot 38.3% (18 of 47). Jordan Rasberry scored 11 points and Jacoby Edwards notched nine points for the Bulldogs.



Courtney Crutchfield filled up the stat sheet with 31 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists for Pine Bluff (9-2), which withstood a late third-quarter collapse. Deriyon Graydon had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Randy Emerson tallied 22 points and 9 rebounds for the Zebras, who were ahead 54-40 with less than 5 minutes left in the third, but Duncanville (5-7) ended the period on a 19-3 run.

The Panthers led 63-60 in the fourth before two free throws from Graydon started a 16-2 rally that put Pine Bluff back in control.

Kayden Edwards had 26 points and Beckham Black chipped in with 14 points for Duncanville. The Panthers also hit 14 three-pointers in the game.


Luke Moore had 19 of his 21 points in the second half in a tight win for Central (12-1).

Annor Boateng had 23 points and six rebounds and C.J. Washington came up with 10 points for the Tigers. The teams were tied at 53-53 at the end of the third quarter but Central used an 11-3 run to begin the fourth quarter.

Jalil Bathea and Josh Reed both had 18 points for Archbishop (2-4).


Gonzaga (9-0) scored 19 points off 12 turnovers and got a 20-point, 8-rebound outing from Christian Gurdak to beat the Knights.

Derek Dixon had 18 points and Williams Harper finished with 12 points as the Eagles outrebounded their opponents 34-23 and compiled 40 points in the paint.

Tounde Tessoufou had 23 points and Julius Price added 18 points for St. Joseph (10-1).


Josiah Legree had 19 points and eight assists for St. Frances (10-4) in a nip and tuck matchup.

Cameren Fleming supplied 17 points for the Panthers, who watched a 12-point lead dwindle down to two in the final quarter. Jasiah Cannady ended with 10 points.

Chris McDermontt churned out 28 points and piled up 16 rebounds for Booker T. Washington (12-3). Odis Carter had 20 points and seven assists and Abraham Kirksey followed with 18 points.


Zion Green’s leaner with 7 seconds left in the fourth quarter served as the go-ahead score as McDonough (11-1) escaped.

Keenan Gray scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half for the War-hawks, who held a 56-55 lead late in the game until Benton’s Terrion Burgess hit a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left to put the Panthers on top. Green, though, responded with game-winner moments later.

Burgess finished with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals for Benton (12-3). Elem Shelby added 15 points, with 10 coming in the second half, for the Panthers.


Dre’lon Miller finished with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in a win for Silsbee (11-6).

Jared Harris, a Memphis signee, had 19 points, Payton Jones scored 13 points, and LaMarcus Bottley added 10 points.

Clyde Waters scored 22 points for Pinson Valley (10-6). Austen Coner had 13 points.

King Cotton Holiday Classic

At Pine Bluff Convention Center WEDNESDAY’S GAMES

McDonough (Ga.) 58, Benton 57 Silsbee (Texas) 78, Pinson Valley (Ala.) 68 Sandy Creek (Ga.) 66, White Hall 50 Westminster (Fla.) 58, Little Rock Christian 43 Gonzaga (D.C.) 68, St. Joseph (Calif.) 48 St. Frances (Md.) 83, Booker T. Washington (Texas) 78 Pine Bluff 84, Duncanville (Texas) 79 Little Rock Central 68, Archbishop Wood (Pa.) 62


White Hall vs. Pinson Valley (Ala.), 10 a.m. Silsbee (Texas) vs. Benton, 11:30 a.m. Booker T. Washington (Texas) vs. Archbishop Wood (Pa.), 1 p.m. McDonough (Ga.) vs. Little Rock Christian, 2:30 p.m. St. Joseph (Calif.) vs. Duncanville (Texas) 4 p.m. Gonzaga (D.C.) vs. Pine Bluff, 7 p.m. Westminster (Fla.) vs. Little Rock Central, 8:30 p.m.