Looking to carry over momentum built from the regular season finale win against Copiah Academy, the Parklane boys couldn’t keep it going, falling to Jackson Academy 52-43 in the first round of the MAIS 5A playoffs, thus ending the season for the Pioneers.
“I thought that we played a really good first half and we came out in the second half with a really good game plan to finish the game. We executed but we did not finish when we had opportunities to extend our lead and it really cost us,” Parklane head coach Josh Bass said.
Early on, the Pioneers jumped out to a 5-2 lead following a three-point play by Ezra Pattie and a basket by Jacob Gazzo. However, the Raiders answered with a 7-0 run to grab a 9-5 lead.
Shortly afterward, back-to-back 3-pointers from Aaron Artigues tied the game at 12. JA closed the quarter with a 3-pointer and a basket to jump ahead 17-12.
A 10-2 run that included six-straight points from Jay Jones highlighted the early stages of the second quarter for Parklane.
The Pioneers wrapped up the second quarter with another 3-pointer from Artigues and a layup at the buzzer by Gazzo, increasing its advantage to 27-21 at the half.
JA fought valiantly to try and close the gap in the third quarter, but Parklane shut the door on those opportunities by getting key makes from Artigues and Gazzo, who for the second quarter in a row, made a shot at the buzzer for the Pioneers who went into the fourth quarter leading 34-30. In the fourth, the Raiders got into a groove offensively, presenting a problem for the Pioneers.
A 12-0 run by the visitors put Parklane down 43-36. With about 1:24 to go, Artigues nailed a 3-pointer to narrow the gap. But the aggressiveness of JA’s Nicholas Bryan, who took four trips to the free throw line, proved to be the deciding factor as the Raiders pulled away with the win.
Artigues led the Pioneers with a game-high 16 points while Gazzo posted 14. JA was led by Bryan who had 15 points.
After the game, Bass said that he was very thankful for seniors Artigues, Mason Pounds and Mason Alford adding that he is very optimistic about next year’s team.
“I am super proud of these senior guys I’ve got,” he said. “It was a good-character, hard-working senior group that I had this year. A lot of guys that I had who played a lot of good minutes this year are returning. The future looks really good for Parklane basketball.”