By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – In a matchup of two of the better small school basketball teams in Northeast Mississippi, a big presence on the inside had as much to do with the outcome as anything.
Calhoun City center Taborrious Coffey only scored 10 points, but helped to effectively disrupt the Biggersville Lions offense as the Wildcats claimed a 60-49 victory in action in the Kiwanis Christmas Classic at Booneville High School.
“His body was a presence,” said Calhoun City coach Darrin Coffey of his 6-foot-5 cousin and player. “We played pretty good defense, focusing on getting back in transition.
“Good ball-control by us helped, and we did a good job limiting their rebounding, their second shots.”
The game was back-and-forth contest in the first half.
Biggersville (10-4) was aided by a pair of 3-pointers late in the first quarter by Blake Anderson and Tevin Watson in building a 16-13 lead. Calhoun City (6-6) forged ahead three times in the second quarter on baskets by Levarious Vanard and Coffey, but free throws by Daniel Simmons in the closing seconds gave the Lions a 31-30 halftime edge.
“I don’t think we ran anything we wanted to run on offense,” Biggersville coach Cliff Little said. “And nobody wanted any of Coffey.
“We played with no heart, no appreciation of the game tonight. We’re going to find out who loves the game in practice.”
Calhoun City began gaining the upper hand in the contest in the third quarter, where Delvante Lawrence bagged a pair of 3-pointers and a layup to help his team to a 44-39 lead. Then in the fourth period, Lawrence tallied two more 3-pointers, and Dartavion Primer darted into the lane for four field goals to help tie up the victory.
“Primer did a good job controlling the game for us,” Coffey said. “And Lawrence’s treys got us some separation on the scoreboard.
“We’re getting where we want to be, but we want to peak at the right time.”
Primer led the Wildcats with 19 points, while Watson hit 11 for the Lions.