In a battle of Pike County rivals, the South Pike boys overcame a 29-point effort by Alijah Martin to defeat North Pike 80-59.
After the game, South Pike head coach Hilton Harrell said he was pleased with his team’s performance.
“Our kids seemed to be in a good groove,” he said. “It seemed like they got back to their old selves, playing good team basketball and good team defense and rebounding the ball well.”
The trio of Justin Williams, Jaborri McGhee and La’Christopher Gardner helped set the tone for the Eagles in the first half. Martin paced the Jaguars and he received some help from Damuriyon Montgomery who connected on a couple of 3-pointers. South Pike led North Pike 31-27 at the half.
In the second half, Martin continued to lead the Jaguars. This time he was assisted by Thomas May who scored all eight of his points in the second half.
However, it was not enough, as Williams scored 23 of his game-high 30 in the final two quarters helping to lead the Eagles to the win and a spot in the District 6-4A championship game against Raymond. McGhee also finished in double figures in scoring with 19 points.
S. Pike girls fall to Raymond
A slow start hurt the South Pike girls in Thursday’s contest against Raymond in the District 6-4A semifinals as the Eagles lost 57-48.
“We just couldn’t make shots and that has been our Achilles heal,” said Harrell, who also coaches the girls team.
The Eagles (15-8) found themselves on the lesser end of a 17-7 score at the end of the first quarter.
Abbeygail Gallager led the charge for South Pike in the second quarter. The senior scored seven of her team-high 18 points in the period. The Eagles trailed 31-20 at the half.
In the second half Alyssa Smith and Shaylia Johnson helped pace South Pike offensively but the Eagles had trouble slowing down Zykeria Anderson and the Cowgirls who rode away with the win.
McComb girls continue to roll
The extra rest time from getting a bye in the first round of the District 6-4A tournament proved to be beneficial for the McComb girls who defeated Lawrence County 45-32 Thursday night in the semifinals.
“That was a great team effort,” McComb head coach Charlton Grey said. “We had a game plan and we did enough early to get a lead and maintain the lead. We had mistakes here and there and missed opportunities but we were able to capitalize.”
Alisha Tucker took the reins for the Tigers (22-6) early on scoring five of her 16 points in the first quarter alone. McComb got more of a balanced attack in the second quarter as Ziya Thierry, Kinesha Harris and Chanel Gayden each had a made basket. McComb led 18-13 at the half.
Lakendria Walker ramped up her game for the Cougars in the third quarter with a pair of baskets and multiple trips to the free throw line.
However, she converted on only 1-of-5 tries there. Another five points from
Tucker and four from Gayden helped McComb maintain its momentum on offense.
In the fourth, Deondrea Young entered the fray, scoring all six of her points in the period and helping the Tigers seal the win.
In addition to Tucker’s 16 points, Gayden also had a strong performance with 12. The Cougars were led by Neziah Smith who had 11 points.
Amite County drops Loyd Star
The momentum garnered from an undefeated district slate during the regular season carried over into Thursday for the Amite County boys as they rolled past Loyd Star 106-57 in the District 7-2A Tournament semifinals.
“We pressed pretty much the whole game and the kids have bought in to pretty much what we are trying to do,” Amite County head coach Warren Hargrove said. “I think that we are moving in the right direction. It is the right timing.”
Kentrell Steptoe finished with 43 points to lead the Trojans (20-3). He got off to a solid start in the first quarter with six points as he got help from Derick Cosby, Jacoby Mikel and a pair of 3-pointers from Labarius Nathaniel and Schamar Bonds.
In the second quarter, however Steptoe began to ramp his game up. The senior point guard made five baskets and finished 5-for-5 from the free throw line, leading Amite County who took a 48-22 lead over Loyd Star.
The Hornets kept fighting but couldn’t find a consistent enough offense to keep up with the Trojans.
In the second half, Steptoe scored another 23 points, helping to lead Amite County to the win. Steptoe finished the game shooting 13-of-15 from the free throw line.