Elzy beat Corinth, the Daily Journal’s No. 1 boys team, on Saturday night for the second time in three games the last two years to win the MHSAA Class 4A North title. The Panthers beat Corinth in the state title game last season.
If they are to meet again for the state championship, the Warriors (26-7) will first have to beat South champion Laurel. The two meet in the state semifinals on March 4 at 8 p.m. at Jackson’s Mississippi Coliseum. Elzy faces Raymond earlier in the day.
Corinth and Laurel have split two earlier meetings in the state tournament.
Corinth is making its third straight trip to the state tournament, coming off back-to-back losses in the finals. Elzy used its size to win Saturday and Corinth never seemed to get an available loose ball. The Warriors shot 36 percent, 1 for 11 from 3-point range, and missed 11 straight 3s to end the game.
“Boy, that ball just didn’t bounce our way a couple of times. We had some long rebounds, some steals plays and we just came up empty,” Corinth coach Keith Greene said.
Corinth is making its 16th appearance in the state tournament with five championships, the last in 2002.
The last team to beat Corinth at home was Booneville in the 2011 3A finals. Booneville then beat Corinth in the state championship game.
Laurel is 26-5 after a South state championship win over Raymond. Deshon Bayless (16 ppg.) and Omar Bayless (12 ppg.) lead the team in scoring.
Terrel Payton scored 18 points for Corinth Saturday as Raheem Sorrell (6-5) fought a tough battle for 11 points between Elzy’s bigs, 6-foot-9 center Janarious Middleton being the biggest.
“We played hard. We challenged. We get to go down to Jackson with the right mindset, take care of business there and maybe we’ll see them again,” Greene said.
The 4A championship game is set for March 8 at 8:30 p.m.