TROOPERS EDGE WILDCATS IN OT FOR 2A CROWN
By Parrish Alford
MOOREVILLE Sometimes you just have to take what the defense gives you.
Sam Staples left plenty of space between himself and Calhoun City’s troublesome 2-3 zone when he buried a 3-pointer of NBA proportions Saturday, lifting the Mooreville Troopers to a 55-49 overtime win over the Wildcats in the boys North Mississippi Class 2A Tournament championship game.
“That was big. No doubt about it, it was big,” Mooreville coach Rex Berryman said.
Calhoun City coach Trey Hamby was more descriptive.
“That was the ball game,” he said.
Shelby Broad Street took the last North spot in the State Tournament with a 48-45 win over Ruleville Central in the consolation game. Calhoun City’s first game in Jackson will be Thursday at 8:30 p.m. Mooreville will play March 7 at 3 p.m.
Staples’ shot came with 1 minute, 18 seconds left in the extra period from a couple of steps inside the time line and put the Troopers from one point down to two points up.
The Troopers (26-8) then got a steal from freshman Matt Justice with 58 seconds left and were able to hold the ball until Anthony Hurd sank two free throws with seven seconds to play.
“Calhoun City was in a stingy 2-3 zone, and that gave us some problems,” Berryman said. “I thought we were a little sluggish after having to play so hard last night, but our kids really picked it up in the end.”
The Wildcats (13-13) led 44-42 with 17 seconds left in regulation when Mooreville’s Rhasheen Dilworth scored down low. Calhoun City could not get a shot off at the end of regulation.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early overtime lead on a free throw by David West and a basket by Jonathon Herrod. Baskets by Hurd and Dilworth put the Troopers up by a point, before David Draine regained the lead for Calhoun City with 1:32 left. That set the stage for Staples’ heroics, and slowed Calhoun City’s improbable run through the playoffs.
“Starting two freshmen and two sophomores, nobody expected us to get this far,” Hamby said. “If we go down to Jackson and don’t win a game, we’re getting experience for these kids and looking toward the future.”
Freshman Bernard Sykes led the Wildcats with 20 points.
Mooreville got 18 points from Dilworth, 11 each from Hurd and Justice and 10 from Staples.
Broad Street 48, Ruleville Central 45: The Jaguars (27-10) beat the Tigers (21-11) for the third time this season.
Broad Street’s Kelvin Butler sank four free throws in the final 13 seconds to secure the win. The Tigers had a chance to tie on their final possession, but attempted a 2-pointer instead of a 3-pointer.
Roderick Davis led the winners wih 12 points. Donnell Maxie and Shaun Jefferson had 10 points each.
Ruleville Central was led by Kirby Oliver with 20 points, and John Pittman added 13.