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Vicksburg boys defeat Starkville in Class 6A North State final

 

From Special Reports

 

VICKSBURG -- The Mississippi High School Activities Association defending class 6A and Grand Slam champions are going back to Jackson for more. 

 

This time, though, the Starkville High School boys basketball team will go as a runner-up. 

 

Jacolby Mobley had 12 points Saturday, but Vicksburg defeated Starkville 69-54 in the Class 6A North State final at Vicksburg High. 

 

"We had scoring opportunities, but we missed a bunch of shots," Starkville coach Greg Carter said. "They ran at Jacolby and Mike (Brand, who scored only five points) and tried to limit their opportunities, but we still had opportunities to score." 

 

Mychal Ammons led Vicksburg with 35 points. Vicksburg beat Tupelo 77-72 in overtime in the other semifinal Friday night. 

 

"He played big," Carter said of Ammons. "He was a man inside. He was more athletic and bigger and stronger and anyone we had." 

 

Tori Rice had nine points and Calvin Young added eight for the Yellow Jackets, who played without center Gavin Ware (knee). Carter said his team likely will play the late game March 2 against an opponent to be determined in Jackson. 

 

On Friday, Starkville secured a trip to Jackson with a 52-48 victory against Jackson Murrah. 

 

The Yellow Jackets used an 18-12 fourth quarter to pull away. 

 

Steve Brand and Chris Harris each had 13 points to lead Starkville. Mike Brand had 11 points, and Harris and Stanley Childs led the team in rebounding. Mobley had seven assists. 

 

The Yellow Jackets also played without Ware. 

 

Class 3A 

 

n Corinth 67, Aberdeen 59: At Corinth, The Roy Hazzle era might have finally come to an end. 

 

The Warriors (29-3) came back from a 13-point deficit in the third quarter and then erased a four-point hole in the fourth quarter to eliminate the Bulldogs (28-3) one step shy of earning a trip to Jackson for the state tournament. 

 

"We didn''t protect the ball and turnovers made the difference in the outcome of the game," said Hazzle, who is retiring from teaching at the end of this school year. He also shares the duties as athletic director at the school with football coach Chris Duncan. "Both teams laid it on the line. We had a few more turnovers than they did and they capitalized on them." 

 

Hazzle, who earned his 500th victory earlier this season, said he still has a desire and a love for coaching. He said he isn''t certain if he will try to return as boys basketball coach or as AD at the school. 

 

"There is a possibility of staying on," Hazzle said. "I have to talk with the superintendent and see what is out there for me. Everything else is a possibility and a choice." 

 

Hazzle said coaching is something he "always wanted to do," and that he thinks it is his "calling. 

 

"I enjoyed this year," Hazzle said. "This has been one of the most joyful years of coaching with this group of guys. These kids have done a great job coming to practice, working hard, and performing well with each other night in and night out. If I do coach again, I will miss the seniors, but we will have some great sophomore and juniors returning." 

 

In the beginning of the season, Hazzle, who coached in his 24th season at the school, suggested he might retire at the end of the season. Many thought the end would come with him cutting down another state championship net in Jackson. 

 

Unfortunately, Corinth overcame Aberdeen''s 40-27 lead thanks to an 18-5 run that tied the game at 45 with 26.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter. 

 

A dunk by Earnest Williams (12 points) helped Aberdeen take a 49-45 lead, but a basket by Eric Richardson tied the game at 49 and a 3-pointer by Deonta Herman sparked an 11-2 run Herman punctuated with a dunk that helped end the Bulldogs'' 23-game winning streak. 

 

Fred Ward led Aberdeen with 18 points. Jakeese Walker had 15. 

 

Class 1A 

 

n Durant 89, East Oktibbeha 61: At Brookhaven, Casey Neal had a game-high 22 points, but it wasn''t enough to prevent the Titans (11-19) from suffering a season-ending loss at West Lincoln High. 

 

Davontae Lucious had 15 points for East Oktibbeha, but it wasn''t enough to deter the high-scoring Durant offense that was led by Kevin Morvette (19 points) led Durant, which built a 47-30 halftime lead. 

 

Alabama High School Athletic Association 

 

Class 3A 

 

n Greensboro 57, Aliceville 47: At Greensboro, Ala., Marquis Mason had 14 points, but the Yellow Jackets'' season ended one game short of a trip to Montgomery in the Central Sub-Regional. 

 

Demetric Walker added 12 points for Aliceville. 

 

Charvis Teacher had 15 points, seven assists, and seven steals for Greensboro (24-6). 

 

Class 2A 

 

n Sulligent 80, American Christian Academy 64: At Sulligent, Ala., Balanced scoring helped the Blue Devils advance to play Mars Hill Bible at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Wallace State Community College-Hanceville in the Northwest Regional. 

 

Peter Swanigan had a game-high 28 points for Sulligent. Ryan Reeves (17), Deon Jenkins (16), and Tony Johnston (10) also scored in double figures. 

 

Class 1A 

 

n Pickens County 87, Marion County 59: At Reform, Ala. It was a numbers game for the Tornadoes (26-1). 

 

All 15 of the players on the roster saw action, while 13 scored in its rout. 

 

The victory pushed Pickens County to the Northwest Region at Wallace State C.C.-Hanceville and a game against Tharpstown at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

 

Deion Curry had 12 points and four assists, Nick Stewart had 11 points and six rebounds, and Kiloe Cole had 10 points for the Tornadoes. 

 

Alabama Christian Education Athletic Association 

 

n North River Christian (Ala.) 59, Victory Christian 53: At Oxford, Ala., Zach Dunn scored 31 points to help North River Christian (24-0) advance to the ACEAA title game against Tabernacle Christian. 

 

Matthew Robertson had 10 points and 10 rebounds for NRC, which led 33-21 at halftime. 

 

Stephen Williams had 16 points and Landon Ellis had 13 for the Rams. 

 

Alabama Independent Schools Association 

 

n Evangel Christian 81, Pickens Academy 71: At Montgomery, Ala., Jacob Acker''s 46-point effort wasn''t enough to help the Pirates (18-7) overcome the Lions (27-2) in the Class AA state title game. 

 

Acker had 23 points in each half and attracted the attention of two and three players at a time. He attempted 19 free throws and played all 32 minutes. He scored 88 points in the two games in the state finals. 

 

Andrew House added 10 points for Pickens Academy. 

 

Girls 

 

Mississippi Association of Independent Schools 

 

n Oak Hill Academy 40, Kirk Academy 33: At Brookhaven, Anna Ready had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Tori Ellis had 10 points and 10 rebounds to help the Lady Raiders (27-10) finish third in Class AA and qualify for the MAIS overall state tournament. 

 

Oak Hill Academy will play Riverdale (La.) on Monday at Mississippi College. 

 

"We''re excited about being in the overall state tournament," said Oak Hill Academy coach Stan Hughey, whose team beat Kirk Academy for the first time in four meetings this season. "It has been a few years since we have been there." 

 

Tori Ellis and Rachel Herndon (eight points, five rebounds vs. Kirk Academy) were named to the Class AA all-tournament team. 

 

Maegen Ellis had four points, Paige Dawkins had four points and six rebounds, and Shay Atkins had two points and 11 rebounds. 

 

On Friday, Oak Hill Academy lost to undefeated Leake Academy 56-32. Leake Academy won the Class AA title on Saturday. 

 

Herndon had eight points, Tori Ellis had seven, and Ready had five. The Lady Raiders committed 25 turnovers in the loss. 

 

AHSAA 

 

Class 3A 

 

n Greensboro 62, Aliceville 33: At Greensboro, Summer Williams had 14 points, but the Lady Raiders built a 39-11 halftime lead and cruised into the Central Regional in Montgomery. 

 

Greensboro (18-6) will play Leeds at 3 p.m. Monday. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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