By Blake Long | Special to the Journal
NEW ALBANY – Kenny Paul Geno made sure the packed house at Memorial Gymnasium would not forget Booneville’s first appearance in the Hot Bed Classic.
Geno, a 6-foot, 6-inch junior for the defending Class 3A champion Blue Devils, threw down two dunks, including an alley-oop just before halftime that brought the crowd to life.
His alley-oop capped a 20-point second quarter that pushed Booneville ahead for good. The Blue Devils went on to defeat Oxford 65-53 in the final game of the 21st annual event.
After the Blue Devils got off to a slow start shooting from the perimeter in the first, Jake Hall and Keldrick Lesley hit consecutive threes to begin the second and return the lead to Booneville for good.
“The first quarter we were really uptight,” said Smith. “Finally in the second quarter we relaxed a little bit and we started moving away from the ball and got better looks.”
Booneville (20-3) picked up the pace defensively and held Luke Gibbs, a threat for the Chargers from beyond the arc, to six points with only one three-pointer made.
“I thought Coach Smith had a great game plan. He played a little soft in his man and challenged us to shoot the outside shots,” Oxford coach Drew Tyler said.
Justin Fondren picked up Gibbs’ slack, leading the Chargers (16-7) with 16 points. Lesley scored 18 and Geno added 14 for Booneville.
Also at the hot bed
Calera, Ala. 78, Tupelo 71: After Jordan Sadler tied the game at 69-69 with two minutes to play, the Eagles (19-4) went on a 7-0 run to seal the win.
Ronnie Clark scored a game-high 31 points for Calera, while Rashan Coleman led Tupelo (16-7) with 23.
Pearl 65, New Albany 58: The Bulldogs (13-8) held a 42-40 lead entering the final quarter before Jeremy Reddy started a 13-2 run with two straight threes to allow Pearl to pull away.
Dandy Dozen guard and UTEP signee Twymond Howard scored 22 points for the Pirates (21-2), while Daniel Drummond dropped in 23 for New Albany.
West Union 57, TCPS 38: Chase Taylor scored a game-high 21 points for West Union in the 10 a.m. opener.
Ingomar 72, East Union 58: Steven Foster scored 20 points and LaQuain Foster 17 for Ingomar (14-11), which led 14-12 after the first quarter but surged to a 39-17 halftime advantage.
Myrtle 76, Mooreville 73: Robert Montgomery led the way with 30 points for Myrtle (15-9). Quadzing Rogers scored 22 for Mooreville (17-5).
Houlka 50, Water Valley 39: Jarvis Pulliam scored 25 in the win.