MOOREVILLE LANDS LAST PUNCH IN 74-69 WIN OVER POTTS CAMP
By Parrish Alford
POTTS CAMP — Like punch-drunk heavyweights, the Potts Camp Cardinals kept hanging around Tuesday night. Finally the Mooreville Troopers delivered the fatal blows.
Journal No. 8 Mooreville sent Potts Camp to the canvas with an 8-0 run capped by Terrance Smith’s put-back with 2 minutes, 27 seconds to play in a 74-69 win for the Troopers.
Mooreville improves to 24-8 and will face Ruleville Central in the North Class 2A semifinals at Baldwyn Friday. Potts Camp ends its season at 24-10.
The Cardinals were behind from the middle of the first period on, but never by double digits. Potts Camp cut the Mooreville lead to 59-58 on Garon Marion’s drive to the goal with 3:50 left and then forced a turnover. But the Troopers stole it back on the other end.
That set the stage for 3-pointers by Kelvin Smith and Anthony Hurd before Terrance Smith’s bucket down low put Mooreville in front 67-58.
“When they hit those two threes, it hurt,” Potts Camp coach Chris Greer said. “We just never got it going. It was a tough loss.”
In all the Troopers hit nine 3-pointers. Hurd led the way with 23 points, and Rhasheen Dilworth added 21. Terrance Smith scored 11. The win avenged Mooreville’s 76-75 loss to Potts Camp in the Kiwanis Christmas Classic at Tupelo.
“I thought we played well offensively, but we had some lapses defensively,” Mooreville coach Rex Berryman said. “They used their quickness on us quite a bit.”
That Potts Camp quickness caused Berryman to reduce the minutes of junior center John Keith in favor of his own smaller, quicker lineup.
“Matt Justice came off the bench and did a real good job for us in the first half, and then Kelvin Smith did the job in the second half,” Berryman said.
The Cardinals got as close as 67-63 on a 3-pointer by Keith Traylor with 1:20 left, but Mooreville hit seven of 10 free throws in the final 1:16 to seal the win.
It was the first home loss for the Cardinals this season. Potts Camp put four players in double figures, led by Antwan Marion with 15 points. Garon Marion added 13, Philip Brock 12 and Traylor 11.
In a nip and tuck first half, the Troopers built a nine-point lead with 2:32 left in the second quarter. Terrance Smith got three buckets in the paint in a three minute span, and Kelvin Smith sank a 3-pointer to put the Troopers up 33-24.
The lead quickly evaporated as the Cardinals scored the next six points to close to 33-30. Mooreville led 36-34 at the break.