By Gene Phelps
SHANNON – Rocquis Coleman, who moved up to varsity as an eighth grader in 2012, gives the Shannon Red Raiders their spark.
The talented sophomore guard scored 29 points Thursday – 19 in the first half – to lead the Red Raiders to an 83-37 victory against Saltillo in the semifinals of the Lee County Tournament.
Shannon (13-3), ranked No. 6 in the Northeast Mississippi by the Daily Journal, moves into today’s championship game against Nettleton. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
“He makes us go when he’s on the floor,” Shannon coach Cedric Brim said. “Any time he’s playing well it’s a plus for us.
“If he continues to work and listen, he has a chance to get a whole lot better.”
Coleman scored 10 points in the first quarter to help the Red Raiders race to a 23-10 lead. Shannon scored 10 unanswered points to start the second quarter to pad its advantage.
Saltillo (12-7) scored its first field goal of the second quarter with 2 minutes, 38 seconds remaining in a layup by Jawon Smith.
“We didn’t run our offense and we didn’t rebound,” Saltillo coach Craig Lauderdale said. “We’ve got to block people out.”
Shannon led 42-19 at the half, then outscored the Tigers 29-7 in the third quarter.
Xzavier Jones scored 16, Sean Watkins 11 and Jalen Brim 10 for the Red Raiders. Jason Smith scored 17 and Reggie Miller 15 for Saltillo.
(B) Nettleton 50, Mooreville 40: Drae Smith and Chris Long scored 13 points apiece to lead the Tigers (6-9) into tonight’s championship game.
Payton McCord came off the bench to score 13 for the Troopers, the tournament’s defending champion.
(G) Shannon 75, Mooreville 29: Four players scored in double figures to lead Northeast Mississippi’s No. 2-ranked Lady Raiders (13-3) into the finals.
For Shannon, Alexandrea Metcalf and Tatyana Brownlee scored 13, Quin Agnew 12 and Zakiyyah McMorris 10.
(G) Nettleton 31, Saltillo 30: Despite being held scoreless in the second quarter, Nettleton rallied in the second half to win.
Jayla Jones scored on a layup with 2:58 remaining to give Nettleton (9-4) a 29-28 lead.