TROOPERS, WILDCATS IN IN 2A
By Parrish Alford
MOOREVILLE On a senior dominated team, Mooreville freshman Matt Justice hit the biggest shot, the game winner.
Justice’s put-back of a wild 3-point attempt by Kelvin Smith with one second left gave the Troopers a 68-66 win over Ruleville Central in the second game of the North Mississippi Class 2A Tournament at Mooreville Friday.
Calhoun City set the table for a Northeast Mississippi sweep with a 59-56 win over Shelby Broad Street in the first game. Calhoun City and Mooreville meet to decide the State Tournament’s No. 1 North seed tonight at 8:30. Broad Street and Ruleville Central which eliminated Mooreville from the State Tournament last season meet in an elimination game at 7 p.m.
The Troopers (25-8) trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half but owned the fourth quarter.
“We just were not hitting the goal early on,” Mooreville coach Rex Berryman said. “Then we went to our half-court trap to speed up the game. That’s when we started hitting.”
In a fourth quarter which featured nine lead changes, Mooreville took its first lead of the game at 54-53 on a 3-pointer by Rhasheen Dilworth with 4:50 to play.
The lead see-sawed back and forth until Ruleville Central’s Robert Davis tied it at 66 with 37 seconds left. Berryman called timeout with 27 seconds to play, and the Troopers held for one shot. The ball ended up in Smith’s hands well beyond the 3-point line. Justice, with the inside position, got the rebound and scored on the taller Tigers.
“It was real hard to get the position,” Justice said. “It’s a good thing I know how to box out.”
The senior trio of Anthony Hurdy, Dilworth and Sam Staples led Mooreville with 21, 19 and 18 points.
Ruleville Central (21-10) got 24 points from John Pittman, 18 from 6-foot-7 Kirby Oliver and 12 from Calvin Carter.
Calhoun City 59, Shelby Broad Street 56: The Wildcats (13-12) milked a late 15-point lead for all it was worth, but made it stand.
Calhoun City began to struggle against the Broad Street pressure in the fourth quarter, committing seven turnovers in the final 5:49.
Broad Street cut the lead to one point on three different occasions.
“That’s all a part of being young,” Calhoun City coach Trey Hamby said. “We start two freshmen and two sophomores.”
Broad Street (26-10) got a pair of free throws from Shaun Jefferson to make it 57-56 with 23 seconds to play. Calhoun City’s David West responded with a pair on the other end for a three-point lead with 17 seconds remaining.
Needing a 3-pointer to tie, the Jaguars missed three attempts in the final seconds.
Calhoun City was led by David Draine’s 15 points. David West added 14, and Bernard Sykes had 12. Broad Street got 13 points each from Jeremy Maxon and Roderick Davis.