By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
MOOREVILLE – Zack Sisk nailed a 3-pointer from the left baseline Thursday night to give Mooreville a 9-point lead, 26-17, late in the first quarter against Shannon.
Troopers coach Jeff Tally, however, wasn’t the least bit comfortable with his team’s lead.
“Nine points is not enough … not against a team that can ring up points like (Shannon) can,” he said.
Shannon responded with a Javon Green and Lakee Westbrook-powered scoring flurry over the next 81/2 minutes to outscore the home team 24-7 on its way to an 87-63 victory in the opening round of the Lee County Tournament.
The Red Raiders play Saltillo at 8:30 p.m. today in the boys championship game. The Tigers reached the title game with a 74-68 win against Nettleton.
In the girls championship game, Nettleton plays Saltillo at 7. Nettleton reached the finals with a 55-47 win over Shannon while Saltillo edged host Mooreville 46-45.
The girls and boys consolation games start at 4.
Shannon’s Green, a 5-foot-10 guard, answered Sisk’s late 3-pointer with a perimeter bomb of his own to close the first quarter. He connected on five of his team’s 12 3-pointers in the win.
The Red Raiders (14-1) didn’t let up to start the second quarter, going on a 15-1 run to take a 35-27 lead. A 3-pointer by Errick Dilworth capped the scoring binge.
Shannon took a 41-33 halftime lead.
“I don’t know what got us going,” Shannon coach Cedric Brim said. “Mooreville played well early and hit some shots. We didn’t play with any intensity on defense early.
“We picked up our defensive intensity, got some turnovers, and got out in transition. We’re pretty good shooters, especially in transition.”
The Red Raiders opened the second half with another spurt to race to a 50-37 lead. Green and Westbrook later hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give their team a 16-point lead.
All five Shannon starters scored in double figures with Green’s 24 leading the way. Westbrook added 19, Lamarcus Doss 15, Jermaine Gilliam 11 and Jarvonte Ivy 10.
Mooreville (12-4), which was led by Kesley Scott with 22, cut the Red Raiders’ lead to 9 points twice early in the fourth quarter, but got no closer.
“Shannon’s a very good ballclub,” Tally said. “You just hang on and go with them … keep playing.”