By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
BALDWYN – Baldwyn went right at S.V. Marshall big man Marquis Vance on Friday night in the MHSAA Class 2A North semifinals.
In a rematch of last season’s state championship game, the Bearcats fouled Vance out and beat Marshall 74-70 and advance to tonight’s championship game against Coahoma AHS at 7 p.m.
“We made free throws at big times. I thought we had some big rebounds,” Baldwyn coach Jason McKay said. “In a close game like that, you’re ultimately going to win by hitting free throws and getting rebounds.”
Baldwyn (28-3) made 14 of 17 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Vance, a 6-foot-5 senior post player, had three fouls by the half and fouled out with 6:07 to play.
Marshall (25-5) made their biggest run without Vance. Freshman Conner McKay put Baldwyn ahead nine to open the fourth quarter and the Bearcats led by as many as 10 in the third.
Coyderic Weatherall’s banked 3-pointer cut the lead to a point before Romaro Crump made 1 of 2 from the line on Demarkus Weatherall’s fifth foul. Then, with 16.1 left, Tevin Lindsey took the ball from Jahmal Jackson and made two free throws for a 72-68 lead.
Duke Upshaw answered a quick Marshall score with two free throws to seal it with 3.7 seconds left.
upshaw leads bearcats
Upshaw’s 19 points led five Bearcats in double figures. McKay and Lindsey had 17 each, Crump 11 and Martell Brown 10.
Jackson scored 19 for Marshall, Vance 18.
“I don’t ever talk about referees, but if anybody watched this game tonight and thought that a 6-5 guy every time on a 5-11 guy, would foul him every time, they’ve got some problems,” Marshall coach Antwayn Patrick said. “With that said, Baldwyn deserved to win.”
The game was tied at 61 when Crump fought for an offensive board and connected on a three-point play. McKay added a pair of free throws for a 66-61 lead before Demarkus Weatherall’s 3-pointer cut that lead to two.