By David Wheeler / NEMS Daily Journal
BLUE SPRINGS – If entertainment was the goal of the 2011 Prentiss-Union Shootout – mission accomplished.
In the showcase contest of the one-day boys event at East Union High School Saturday featuring two of the more storied basketball counties in Northeast Mississippi, the New Albany Bulldogs outlasted the Baldwyn Bearcats 87-85 in overtime.
“We got tested, and hopefully we got better prepared for future games,” New Albany coach Brad Gray said. “I think the fans got their money’s worth.”
In a closely fought contest, New Albany (21-3) edged ahead in regulation 79-77 on Tadarious Coburn’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 55 seconds left. DiQuan Agnew then responded for Baldwyn (21-3) by smoothly sinking two free throws with 47 seconds left to knot the score.
Neither team could score in the remaining seconds.
In the overtime, Moses Kingsley hit a tough bank shot to open the scoring for the Bulldogs, which Reggie Patterson responded to with a 3-pointer for a Baldwyn lead. Later in the period, a Devonte Berry basket on a backcut, and free throws by Eric Chaney give New Albany an 87-83 lead with 53 seconds left.
In some wild action that followed, Parrish Huddleston and Patterson each hit a solo free throw for Baldwyn. And Patterson’s last-second attempt from the left wing fell harmlessly off the rim to help New Albany clinch this victory.
“Our guys played with great heart tonight, and hopefully, there’s a lesson to be learned from that,” Baldwyn coach Jason McKay said. “I think this loss will bother the players, I know they don’t like the feeling.”
Coburn paced the New Albany offense with 25 points, while Malcolm Spears chipped in 23. Patterson was tops for the contest with 30 points, with Dee Gates adding 23.
“We got the lead on them early, but I knew Baldwyn would battle back,” Gray said. “In the overtime, we did a better job helping on defense, and disrupting the flow of their offense.”
New Albany did jump to a 15-3 lead in the first quarter, only to see Baldwyn regroup, eventually leading 46-44 at the half. The Bearcats still had that two-point margin entering the fourth quarter, which was extended to 68-63 on the first basket of the period, a 3-pointer by Gates.
In other action of the event, Booneville whipped Myrtle 64-33; Wheeler edged Ingomar 55-52; West Union stopped Thrasher 71-63; and New Site got past East Union 68-62.