Houston Toppers press for victory

By NEMS Daily Journal

Houston’s basketball team was down 15 points heading to the fourth quarter on the road Tuesday night.
Time to turn up the heat.
“We started pressing and it caused a lot of turnovers and made a lot of plays,” head coach Bruce Franks said after his team roared back to win 74-69 in the Class 4A North tournament game.
The Hilltoppers (21-8) were outscored in each of the first three quarters and trailed 65-50 with eight minutes left. They outscored Rosa Fort 24-4 in the decisive final period.
Your best fourth quarter of the season? “Our best …. ever,” Franks said.
Houston trailed 43-32 at halftime.
“I told them they’d already had a half to guard them, so we should know what their tendencies were,” Franks said. “We were down, but it was mostly due to our own mistakes.”
Chris Jones scored 27 points, Devoris Ivy 23 and Lazerick Pulliam 17 to lead Houston.
“We’ve tended to get to the first round in the North tournament and we’ll make some mistakes and lose by 1 or 3 or 5,” said Franks, who’s been coaching at Houston for 27 seasons. “This group did not want to finish the season like that.”
Biggersville’s Big night
Biggersville (24-7) outscored at least four winning NBA teams Tuesday night in beating Montgomery County 108-44. In the process, the Lions earned the hosts’ role for the Class 1A North tournament.
“It feels good to be playing at home,” coach Cliff Little said. “But we have to turn around and play West Oktibbeha, and they’re probably the top team to beat in this whole thing.”
Daniel Simmons had a triple-double – 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists – to lead Biggersville.
Quick pops
* Of three area 5A teams in action Tuesday, only Starkville – a 77-33 winner over Lake Cormorant – was able to advance. Oxford and West Point lost.
* Corinth improved to 41-3 at home over the past three seasons with a 77-68 win over Gentry. Deione Weeks had 24 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals for the Warriors (25-5).

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