By Gene Phelps and Brandon Speck
JACKSON – Anybody but McKay.
That was S.V. Marshall’s strategy in the final seconds of Thursday’s Class 2A state championship victory against Baldwyn at the Mississippi Coliseum.
Conner McKay, Baldwyn’s sophomore point guard, never got a look in the final seconds. Instead, sophomore Coby Agnew fired a driving one-handed shot on the baseline that danced off the rim, leaving the Bearcats two points short, 45-43.
“As long as McKay didn’t shoot the ball, I felt good,” S.V. Marshall coach Antwayn Patrick said. “If the other guy had made it, I could have lived with that … going to overtime.
“If McKay would have shot, a two or a three, he probably would have made it.”
Demarcus Weatherall, S.V. Marshall’s 6-foot-4 small forward, scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds to capture the game’s MVP honors.
He scored 15 of those points in the second half. He had a tip-in with 1:27 remaining, then sank a pair of free throws to clinch the win.
“The sky’s the limit for him,” Patrick said of his star, who started as a freshman on Marshall’s 2012 state title team. “His motor runs high.”
Weatherall said of his second-half performance, “I turned it up. This is amazing.”
Future bright for Baldwyn
Hurt, but hopeful. That was sophomore Duke Upshaw following Baldwyn’s 45-43 loss against Marshall in Thursday’s state championship.
Upshaw was already looking past a controversial double dribble call against point guard Conner McKay that led to Marshall’s game-winning possession.
“I think we got some bad calls, but it’s the game,” Upshaw said. “We’ll be back.”
The Bearcats made their fourth trip to the Class 2A state title game in five years, winning it all last season.
They’ll start next season with Thursday’s starting lineup intact, a lineup with two sophomores, a freshman and two juniors.
“It’s real tough, but we’re going to hold our heads up,” Upshaw said. “We’re going to work for greatness.”