The South Pike boys knew that they had a tough task ahead of them against Jefferson Davis County Monday, as the Jaguars like to constantly pressure their opponents on defense.
However, the Eagles rose to the occasion and got over some of their miscues to pull out a 67-63 win. The game was part of the McComb Christmas Tournament.
“They are really good and we were really concerned with their relentless pressure,” South Pike head coach Hilton Harrell said of JDC. “That is kind of the pressure that we saw last week and we had some improvement handling the pressure.”
Both the Eagles (7-3) and the Jaguars got off to solid starts in the game, as each had four different players register points for their respective teams. Trailing 17-12 heading into the second quarter, South Pike got big contributions from Zavion Williams, Garrett Preston and Jaborri McGhee as the Eagles tried to claw their way back into the contest. The Jaguars still weren’t ready to give up that lead, but it was reduced to just two points at 29-27 at the half.
While the Eagles continued to get stellar play from McGhee in the third quarter, the Jaguars maintained the upper hand at the end of period, leading 47-40.
In the fourth quarter, however, the South Pike defense made the difference. Jefferson Davis County was limited to just 16 points while the Eagle offense exploded for 27 points behind 15 from McGhee alone. The junior finished with a team-high 28 points.
Other key contributors in the quarter were Preston, Williams and MarQuis Brown, who each had four points.
S. Pike girls come up short
The South Pike girls wanted to bounce back following last week’s loss to Vicksburg at home. However the Jefferson Davis County Jaguars had other ideas, proving to be too much for the Eagles to handle, handing them a 64-57 loss Monday on Day 1 of the McComb Christmas Tournament.
“That is a good Jeff Davis team that is playing very well, they are fast and they can shoot it,” said Harrell who also coaches the girls team. “I thought that our girls grew up because the other night against Vicksburg, we didn’t handle pressure like that, and tonight we did a better job. We still have to do better, there are a few things that we need to curtail and there are some things that we can fix. We have to have the confidence to believe that some of us can do some things that in the past we couldn’t be able to do.”
And even though the Eagles (6-3) have unfortunately made it a habit of getting off to a slow start as of late, that was not the case against the Jaguars. South Pike got stellar play from Shayla Johnson and Bre’Miya Cameron who both found success from beyond the 3-point arc and combined for 14 of their team’s 15 first quarter points. However, Jefferson Davis County also got off to a strong start putting up 17 points to take two-point lead.
After hanging with the Jaguars in the second and third quarters, the Eagles began to lose steam in the fourth, converting only 1-of-6 free throws as Jefferson Davis County held on for the win.
Cameron finished with 16 points for the Eagles, while Johnson had 15.