December 1, 2013 12:51:51 AM
STARKVILLE -- Demarius Calvert took care of business early for the West Point High School boys basketball team.
While Calvert helped keep the Green Wave close at the start, A.J. Jones' play in the fourth quarter proved even more valuable.
Jones, a senior point guard, scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to help West Point rally for a 66-62 victory against Aberdeen on Saturday night at the Starkville Thanksgiving Classic.
Calvert a senior, had 18 points to help West Point improve to 5-1. He helped the Green Wave erase a 13-4 deficit by scoring eight of the team's 14 points in the first quarter to cut Aberdeen's lead to 17-14 after eight minutes.
"He definitely carried us in the first half, especially in the opening quarter," West Point coach Brad Cox said. "If we don't have him going early, then we're not in the game."
Another key for West Point was its defense, which held Aberdeen to four points in the final three minutes of the first period.
"Playing good defense was huge for us early," Calvert said. "They were hurting us inside, and our defense was able to step up and make some plays to help us get back in it."
Although Calvert was held to just four points in the second period, other members of the Green Wave helped keep the momentum going. Seniors Juan Davis and Qdarius Chandler finished the second quarter with five and four points, respectively, to give West Point a 31-27 halftime lead despite 14 points by Aberdeen's Marcus Carouthers.
However, turnovers hurt the Green Wave in the second half, and it didn't take long for the Bulldogs to regain the lead. The Bulldogs outscored the Green Wave 18-7 in the third quarter and led 45-40 entering the fourth quarter.
That's when Jones hit the gas pedal. Jones, who was held to just four points in the previous three periods, went off on an 18-point scoring clinic in the fourth period, helping to push the Green Wave back into the lead with just under three minutes remaining. A crucial three-pointer from Nicholas Sims helped the Bulldogs cut the lead to two with 45 seconds remaining, but the Green Wave hung on.
Jones led the way for the Green Wave, finishing with 22 points. Calvert and Davis added 18 and 12 points, respectively.
Carouthers led all scorers with 26 points. Sims added 12 for the Bulldogs (2-2).
"This was just a battle all around," Aberdeen coach Cornelius Gilleylen said. "We gave a great effort, but down the stretch we didn't quite execute the way we practiced on or the way we wanted to."
n Earlier in the day, Shannon edged New Hope 47-44.
Despite a slow start for both offenses, New Hope took an early 6-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and were able to stay ahead for most of the game. However, Xzavier Jones helped keep Shannon close and with just under two minutes left in the game, Shannon took its first lead and held on.
"We didn't execute well offensively," New Hope coach Drew McBrayer said. "We had too many turnovers and we weren't patient enough to take good shots."
Jones led Shannon and all scorers with 23 points, while Toddy Jennings led New Hope with 12.