LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Little Rock Christian basketball has punched their ticket to state, slated to play top-ranked Blytheville in the 4A boys final on Thursday afternoon at 1:45. It’s a rematch of the teams’ February 25th regional final in which Blytheville won 62-59.

The Warriors will hit Hot Springs in search of their program’s first title since 2005 and hoping to prove doubters wrong.

“Outside of this place I think there was a lot of people that thought this team wasn’t who we are,” said first-year head coach Kyle Pennington who came by way of Russellville. “We feel like we belong in this game and we’re excited for the opportunity.”

“It’s a big moment for us given where we were last year,” coveted 2024 forward Landren Blocker said. “We didn’t even make it to the playoffs. It’s important for us to make an impact. One way is giving us a state championship and bringing some hardware back here.”

LRCA’s roster is headlined by names familiar to Razorbacks fans. Landren already has a few SEC offers and his brother is 5-star Arkansas signee Layden Blocker. And guard Corliss “CJ” Williamson Jr. is the son of a Hogs sharing the same name.

The Warriors’ 3-win tear through the 4A state tournament in Blytheville featured impressive upsets on paper over Magnolia and Dardanelle. The team will have their hands full in Thursday’s title game against the Chickasaws, who are unbeaten in Arkansas and atop state rankings. But caliber of opponent shouldn’t change Little Rock Christian’s style of play.

“It’s a really good team and they were in the finals last year,” Pennington said. “We believe that our team is the best team in the state of Arkansas and we get to show that on the ultimate stage. There’s no special formula. We have to just go be ourselves.”

“Just play our way,” Blocker said. “Trust our coaching staff and our game plan. Lock in and leave it all on the line.”

You can catch highlights and results of Little Rock Christian facing Blytheville at Bank OZK Arena on Thursday night on FOX16.