Wave sweep delights packed house

TUPELO – Shannon’s C.J. Montgomery opened the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s hoops showdown against Tupelo with a 3-pointer to cut the Golden Wave’s lead to four points.
Seconds later, Tupelo’s Deontaye Ewing staggered the visiting Red Raiders with a 3-point bomb to propel the Golden Wave to an 80-64 victory.
“Deontaye hit a big 3 for us,” Tupelo coach Grant Pate said. “He plays so much it comes natural to him, even in clutch situations.”
Tupelo improved to 4-1 overall with the win while Shannon exited a packed THS gym with a 1-2 mark.
Ewing, who led the Wave with 16 points, was a starting cornerback in football two weeks ago. He credits “coming into the gym on weekends” for keeping his roundball game sharp.
“He just loves the game,” Pate said. “He plays all year round. He’s committed and very disciplined player. He works hard at it and never takes any shortcuts.”
Shannon, behind hot-shooting Javon Green, charged to a 13-8 lead before the Golden Wave rallied to close the first quarter with a 16-1 run to take a 24-14 lead.
Byrne Marshall kicked off the spurt with a 3-pointer while Ewing later added a layup and a 3-pointer on back-to-back plays. Romeo Johnson ended the surge with a spinning dunk.
Green, who paced the Red Raiders with 19 points, kept his team within striking distance in the first half with a pair of second-quarter 3-pointers. However, he faced a stronger defensive effort by the Wave’s Ewing and Marshall.
“We had to step it up on defense and guard (Green),” Ewing said. “We knew we could beat them, we just had to play harder on defense.”
Pate praised the play of starting point guard Reed Clayton.
“Shannon made some runs at us, but we kept our focus,” he said. “Reed Clayton played pretty much the whole way and we needed that. We had some guys come off the bench to help us.”
Shane Butler and Marshall scored 12 points apiece for THS.
For Shannon, Jamar Clifton scored 13.
(G) Tupelo 50, Shannon 32
Tupelo coach Stephanie Murphy started four sophomores and sat her seniors, including star Amber Jackson.
The move got Jackson’s attention – she scored a game-high 20 points coming off the bench.
“I wanted to let my seniors know they had either start leading or we’d start rebuilding for the future,” Murphy said. “… Our seniors are better than how they’re playing and how they’re leading. We’re trying to get them to do that.
Tupelo improved to 4-1 while Shannon dropped to 0-2.

Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal