All year long, McComb boys head coach Karshae Peterson wanted his guys to get off to fast starts in their games. On Monday they reaped the benefits of that against Franklin County. The Tigers grabbed an early lead and never relinquished it despite valiant efforts from the Bulldogs in a 46-39 win on Day 1 of the 2020 McComb Christmas Tournament.
“I’m just happy with the win, we lost two in a row (prior) and we came back and fought. I’m just glad that we came back and finished the ball game,” Peterson said.
For the entire game, the Tigers (3-3) dealt with the Bulldogs’ combination of athleticism and big bodies in the paint. Despite enduring the physical game, the McComb bigs thrived with Brodrick Thompson putting up a game-high 17 points.
“We just work on our inside game the most, that is where we are the strongest,” said Thompson. “We just keep feeding the ball to each other.”
And while the Tigers did just that in the first quarter with both Thompson and fellow big Jameer Lewis contributing to the early scoring effort, they also mixed in their long-distance shooting as well with Edric Spurlock and Galvin Speight each hitting a 3-pointer.
McComb took a 15-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Free throw shooting was an issue for the majority of the night for the Tigers. As a team they went 11-for-30 from the line including a 1-for-13 effort in the second quarter alone. That lone free throw came from Thompson at the end of the second quarter, halting a 6-0 Franklin County run which allowed them to pull within striking distance at the half.
While the Tigers as a team struggled from the charity stripe, Thompson was a bright spot. He went 5-for-5 from the line in the third. He received some help from Eric Powell, who nailed a 3-pointer, once again providing a good mix of scoring threats from McComb.
Down the stretch, McComb fended-off yet another rally by Franklin County, which kicked off the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run as the Tigers were held scoreless for nearly the first half of the final period.
But after regaining their traction, the Tigers got key baskets from Lewis and Speight combined with a three-point play from Thompson to ride away with the win.
McComb girls struggle in loss
Despite being down a few players, the McComb Tigers have not given up the fight as of late, showing grit and tenacity. However on Monday, it got to be too much, as the short-handed Tigers could not keep up with Franklin County, falling 54-32 on Day 1 of the 2020 McComb Christmas Tournament.
“I have a lot of injuries,” McComb head coach Charlton Grey said. “Anytime you have a lot of injuries and you are very, very young (its tough). The shots weren’t falling, and in the third quarter we had the third quarter blues. It is going to be okay, we are going to bounce back.”
Offensively, both teams struggled to find their footing early on. The first basket of the game didn’t come until the 4:42 mark when McComb senior Deondrea Young connected on a 3-pointer. Later in the quarter, back-to-back fast break layups by junior Kinesha Harris followed by a free throw from Allaijah Gamble gave the host Tigers (6-2) an 8-3 advantage at the end of the first period.
And just like a bit of deja vu for McComb in the second quarter, Harris once again scored on back-to-back possessions, this time from 3-point range. With an added basket from Young, the Tigers built a 10-point lead at 16-6.
However afterward, McComb went cold on both ends of the floor. Franklin County finished the quarter on a 13-0 run taking a 19-16 lead into the half.
From there the Bulldogs continued to pull away from McComb, getting a big effort from Ja’sharreah Hunt before walking away with the win.