By Brandon Speck
JACKSON – Calhoun City got out-hustled and out-manned on the boards Friday in a 62-58 loss against S.V. Marshall in the Class 2A semifinals at Mississippi Coliseum.
It was 49-all on a pair of free throws from Chakel Gates in the fourth quarter.
“We missed a few hustle plays down the stretch that helped turn the game over,” Calhoun City coach Daren Coffey said.
Free throw woes didn’t help either. The Wildcats hit 13-of-23, 2-for-6 after the game was tied at 49.
Gates had a field day driving inside the taller Marshall (26-6) defenders. He scored a team-high 20 points. But Marshall’s height proved valuable, out-rebounding the Wildcats 46-27. Demarcus Weatherall had 19 of those Marshall rebounds, seven on the offensive glass. He scored a game-high 30 points, on 11-of-16 shots from the field and 8-of-9 at the line.
“In the second half, (Weatherall) got more aggressive on the boards and that kind of hurt us a little bit,” Coffey said. “Overall, I think the guys plays good, a few hustle plays here and there and we would have been in the championship game.”
One rebound Calhoun City (22-12) got didn’t help, as Levarious Varnado got one off the glass, but missed the putback. On the other end, Robert Boyd hit a 3-pointer that put Marshall ahead 52-49, for good. Marshall hit 10-of-12 from the line after taking the lead.
David Draine’s 3-pointer with 44.1 to play cut the lead to four and Brieton Sykes’ basket cut it to 61-58. But Coyderic Weatherall hit the sealing free throw and Calhoun City missed a pair of late shots. Sykes scored 14.
“I’ve got six guys who were in the state championship two years ago. They didn’t panic. We’re just playing great,” Marshall coach Antwayn Patrick said.