PEARCY — The Jasper Pirates were back in the state tournament this season.
Thursday evening at Lake Hamilton High School in Pearcy, the Pirates were placed against highly regarded Kirby.
The Trojans had been upset in the regional tournament and were a third place team heading into the Class 1A State Basketball Tournament.
On the other hand, Jasper was the second place team from the Class 1A Region 1 Tournament. When the night was over, Kirby defeated the Pirates, 65-38.
Kirby pushed the tempo of the game early. The Trojans full-court press created several Jasper turnovers that led to easy baskets for Kirby.
Caleb Carter of Jasper hit the first two baskets for the Pirates and when Logan Reynolds hit a bucket, it pulled the Pirates within, 9-6, of Kirby.
With 4:51 left in the first period, the Trojans took their first double-digit lead at 16-6.
Carter cut it back into single digits, but 20 seconds later the Trojans were up by 10 agin.
Reynolds took a Sam Parker pass and scored to make it an 18-10 contest.
Five Trojan points gave the No. 3 team a 13-point advantage.
Jasper had three more points in them in the first period. Reynolds scored on an offensive putback and Parker hit a free throw after taking a pass from Carter.
Kirby led 27-13 at the first stop. The Trojans then scored the first seven points of the second frame. A trey with 6:34 left in the first half gave Kirby its first 20-point lead at 34-13.
The Trojans had a 14-2 run in the first 4 minutes of the second period. The two points for Jasper came on a basket in the lane by Mason Kellogg.
Reynolds hit a free throw and Cole Villines added two more charity tosses to make it a 46-18 contest.
Kirby pushed to a 30-point lead, but Jasper's Carter scored.
The next four points belonged to Kirby, but Jasper put together its biggest streak of the night with five points.
Carter had three of those points and the remaining two came from Reynolds after taking a Kellogg pass.
Jasper ended the third period with a Parker basket and then a 3-pointer from the junior.
Leading Jasper in scoring was Carter with 14 points. Reynolds added 11, Parker six, Villines, Kellogg and Calvin Smith two each and Buck Dahlstrom one.