BARNETT SCORES 31 AS LIONS TOPPLE MYRTLE
By Mike Talbert
BIGGERSVILLE Senior Jon Barnett knows how to step up with a game on the line. He had 30 points Friday to make the North Mississippi Class 1A tournament.
He topped that Tuesday as he led the Biggersville Lions to a 73-61 upset of the area’s No. 7 Myrtle Hawks with 31 points and 14 rebounds while fighting off foul trouble .
“I didn’t want this to be my last game. I wanted to play some more,” he said.
It not only won’t be his last game, but he has a chance to even play some more at home. With tentative North 1A tournament host Myrtle (28-5) and alternate Jumpertown out of the playoffs, Biggersville (22-9) is making a bid for the host site.
Biggersville had a 14-2 closing run to break open a game tied 59-59 with 3:19 left. Shean Patterson put back an offensive rebound, was fouled and and completed a three-point play to start it. Seconds later Daniel Rowsey stole a pass and fed it to Barnett for a layup. Barnett had two more layups as Biggersville raced to the finish.
“I thought we did a good job of putting it in the freezer once we got the chance,” Biggersville coach Jackie Rowsey said after the Lions’ sixth straight win.
“Jon has really stepped up his play since (6-7 cousin) Daun Barnett was injured (in January),” Rowsey said.
Scott Thompson added 20 points and Brandon Patterson 10 points and 8 rebounds.
Myrtle was led by LaKendrick Bailey with 23 points. Kelly Kirk added 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Lee Berry had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Myrtle coach Elvis Thomas felt the game may have been decided in the second quarter when the tightly called game put a lot of Biggersville players in foul trouble and they still managed a 35-30 halftime lead.
“You have to give Biggersville credit. The officials weren’t letting anybody get away with anything. I felt like we should have had the advantage but they attacked instead of us,” Thomas said. “I told the players at halftime, if we lost we would have to look back to the second quarter. We should have put them away.”
Barnett had to sit the final five minutes of the third period after picking up his fourth foul.
“I thought the key was that we didn’t lose anything when he sat down,” Rowsey said.
Barnett played the whole fourth period, when the game was tied five times.
“I had to keep my hands down and play around them,” Barnett said.