By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
RIPLEY – Corinth and Ripley each feature one of the best boys basketball players in northeast Mississippi – Deonta Herman and Acie Vance.
However, Corinth got help in taking down archrival Ripley.
Deione Weeks had a career-high 28 points as the Warriors downed Ripley 93-81 in their Division 1-3A opener Tuesday night.
“We’ve been waiting for Deione to get on track,” said Corinth coach Keith Greene, “In our first three games, he had only taken 10 shots. … I said the other day ‘We’ve got to get him going.'”
The big men for both teams still had fantastic nights. Vance had 44 points, while Herman was one assist away from a triple double. Corinth’s point guard had 31 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists.
“You let a player of (Vance’s) caliber get going, but we’ve got one, too (Herman),” Greene said, “Acie just exploded, which he can do that. He’s been doing that his whole career.
“They’re two of the best I’ve seen in this area in a long time.”
The Warriors (4-1, 1-0 Division 1-3A) ran out of the gates early, starting the game on a 15-4 run in the first 3:30.
Corinth led 25-14 after the first, and Herman’s two point basket from just inside the three point line as the buzzer expired gave the Warriors a 49-31 halftime advantage.
However, Vance led the Tigers (2-3, 0-1) right back into the game.
Vance’s three pointer with 15 seconds remaining in the quarter capped a 29 point quarter for Ripley and cut the Warrior lead to 68-60.
Vance then began the fourth quarter by hitting five straight three’s in the first three minutes of the quarter.
Ripley then tied the game on an old-fashioned three-point play by Anfernee Rutherford at 78-78 with 4:29 remaining in the contest.
However from that point, Corinth outscored the Tigers 15-3 to close the game, capped by a Steven Polk layup.
“It took our kids about a half to realize they could play with Corinth,” said Ripley coach Grant Gardner, “We came back and tied it up and I was proud of that.”
(G) Ripley 73, Corinth 47
Ripley used a 25 point second quarter to take a commanding lead over Corinth on their way to a 73-47 win over the Lady Warriors.
Jayla Chills scored a career high 22 points for Ripley (3-1, 1-0), while Erin Frazier was one rebound away from a double double with 14 points and 9 rebounds for Corinth (1-4, 0-1).