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Lady Red Devils win Class 5A state title

Mark Buffalo Paragould’s Abby Gibson and Jacksonville’s Jessica Jackson battle for a loose ball during the first half of the Class 5A state championship game Friday at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock.Buy Photo
Mark Buffalo Paragould’s Abby Gibson and Jacksonville’s Jessica Jackson battle for a loose ball during the first half of the Class 5A state championship game Friday at Barton Coliseum in Little Rock.
Mark Buffalo The Jacksonville Lady Red Devils celebrate after beating the Paragould Lady Rams 54-43 in the Class 5A state championship game Friday at Barton Colisuem in Little Rock.Buy Photo
Mark Buffalo The Jacksonville Lady Red Devils celebrate after beating the Paragould Lady Rams 54-43 in the Class 5A state championship game Friday at Barton Colisuem in Little Rock.

Jacksonville made it a double dip as the Lady Red Devils beat Paragould, 54-43, in the nightcap Friday to win the Class 5A girls state championship.

It was the second state title in as many games as Jacksonville beat Alma to win the 5A boys championship right before the girl’s triumph.

Playing as much point guard as post the 6-foot-2 Jessica Jackson, led Jacksonville with 22 points. Jackson, who has signed with the University of Arkansas, had 14 of Jacksonville’s 24 points in the first half.

Jackson was named the game’s Most Valuable Player and also pulled down nine rebounds and had three blocks.

Jackson left the game with a medical issue with 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville maintained a 10-point lead with Jackson out. She came back to the bench with 1:30 remaining and tried to return to the game with :54.7 seconds remaining but was waved off by the officials.

Paragould rallied from being down 14-0 in the first quarter to make it 24-21 at the half but it wasn’t enough for the Lady Rams as they had no answer to Jackson’s dominating presence.

Jacksonville finishes the season at 26-4 and Shakyla Hill had 13 points and eight assists

Paragould (24-5) was led by Sydney Layrock and her 23 points. She also pulled down 14 rebounds despite missing portions of the game because of foul trouble.

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