By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
JACKSON – Coldwater went on the offensive Friday in the Mississippi Coliseum.
Biggersville didn’t have enough defense or offense to overcome it in a 68-55 loss against the Cougars in the MHSAA Class 1A championship.
Coldwater outrebounded the Lions 57-35, 27-16 on the offensive end. Trailing by a point at the break, the Cougars hit the board and went on a 16-2 run.
“At halftime, we said if we didn’t block out and get back, we’re going to lose the game,” Biggersville coach Cliff Little said. “If we do that, we’ll win.”
Jakevin Farmer, Coldwater’s 6-foot-4 senior, led the charge on the glass with 22 rebounds, eight of them offensive, and 15 points.
Biggersville (28-8) got a double-double from senior Dexter Stafford and 15 points from Daniel Simmons.
In the fourth, Chris Vortis grabbed a second offensive rebound on the quarter’s first possession, converted a three-point play and the Cougars led 47-32. Davion Merritt then drove into the lane after a Biggersville turnover and the Lions trailed by 17.
“We just got out of our gameplan,” Stafford said, “We weren’t crashing the boards or doing anything right.”
Biggersville, back in Jackson for the first time since 2001 and going for its second title, wasn’t done. An 11-0 run pumped life back into the Lions. To close the run, Darrien Williams found Darian Barnett inside, then Barnett cut the lead to 49-43 after a jump ball.
Farmer answered with an offensive board and putback before Devonta Roberts hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead.
Biggersville clawed back again. With 2:49 to go, Simmons stole an inbounds and Barnett connected on a free throw to get within four. But it couldn’t capitalize on a Coldwater (27-6) miss and Marcel Hunt pushed the lead back to six with 1:32 left.
“We weren’t going to quit,” Little said. “All the way down to about less than 30 seconds I thought we still had a shot. When we cut it to four, I thought we were going to finish it. We’ve got a great group of seniors who are going to be sorely missed.”
Biggersville was still within 59-53 after a Stafford putback. Coldwater sealed it from the line.
Marcel Newsome and Hunt had 17 each for the Cougars.