Bruce Trojans win first rematch of 2A North Finals

By Blake Long/Special to the Journal

CALHOUN CITY – Bruce head coach Davin Young and Calhoun City head coach Daren Coffey know what’s coming when their two teams meet on the hardwood.
Young, however, isn’t as thrilled as both team’s fan bases are of the close results that have become the norm for the Skuna River Rivalry.
“I’m sick of it,” Young said with a laugh just before chatting with Coffey postgame.
Playing for the first time since Bruce claimed a 61-59 victory in Baldwyn to win the 2010-11 Class 2A North Half Championship, the Trojans again defeated the Wildcats 62-60 in a non-division contest.
And just like the North Half title game nine months ago, Friday night’s game came down to the last shot as well with the result virtually the same for both teams.
Unlike when Bruce’s Donta Armstrong banked a 3-pointer for a buzzer-beating win in Baldwyn, it was Calhoun City with the final shot Friday.
Down 62-59 after Demetris Evans’ free throw, the Wildcats’ Taborris Coffey was fouled while attempting a desperation shot near Bruce’s three-point line with 2.5 seconds left.
Coffey missed his first free throw, which resulted in a Calhoun City (2-3) timeout to set up a possible tip-in play assuming Coffey missed his final free throw.
He missed his final free throw after making the second, but the results didn’t go as Wildcat fans hoped. Coffey grabbed his own rebound, but his shot as the clock expired rimmed out to clinch the win for the Trojans.
“I was hoping we’d got the same thing as Bruce gave us last year, at least give us a chance to go into overtime,” Coffey, the Calhoun City coach who is Taborris’s cousin, said. “We had a rebound play where we hooked to the inside.”
Bruce, the Daily Journal’s fourth-ranked team, bolted out to a 21-10 lead after a quarter only to see Calhoun City take a 30-29 lead just before the break.
Evans scored 22 points to lead four Trojans in double digits. Coffey scored 19 and added 11 rebounds for the Wildcats.
(G) Bruce 65, Calhoun City 61: Tiesa Steen scored a game-high 28 points for the Lady Trojans (5-2). Antonique Jennings and Miesha Armstrong both had 16 for Calhoun City (2-3).