Noxubee County junior Dekylan Malone (2) attempts to drive around a Raymond defender during Thursday’s game in Jackson. Photo by: Chris Todd/Special to The Dispatch
March 1, 2018 10:58:27 PM
By Brandon Shields
Special to the Dispatch
JACKSON -- Two years ago Noxubee County only won six games.
Now two years later they were in the Big House.
But they ran into the defending state champions.
Behind a strong first quarter Raymond ran past the Tigers 81-57 in the quarterfinal round of the MHSAA Class 4A playoffs at the Mississippi Coliseum on Thursday night.
The Rangers (27-6) will face Gentry in the semifinals of the Class 4A playoffs on Monday night at 8:30 p.m.
"Raymond is the defending 4A state champions for a reason. Early in the game they took us out of our game plan with the 2-2-1 press and we didn't break the press quick enough," said Noxubee County coach Danny Crawford. "We turned the ball over way too many times and we couldn't get into our offense like we wanted to early on and that was the turning point."
Raymond would jump out to 17-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and would not look back.
The Rangers would then outscore Noxubee County 25-10 in the second quarter to start to pull away at 42-15 at halftime
Shardarrion Allen would have 20 points, four rebounds and three assists to lead the Rangers.
"We knew coming out that they like to hold the ball and we started out in the 2-2-1 press to speed them up," said Raymond coach Tony Tadlock. "We were fortunate enough to fly around and play our style and came out with a win."
Cameron Woodall would add 16 points along with five rebounds and five assists, while Jakorie Smith would chip in 14 points for the Rangers.
"We knew if we came out with pressure and intensity we liked our chances," Tadlock said. "We fly around that's how we are. I'm proud how we executed and played together."
Jaquarius Smith would have a game-high 30 points to lead Noxubee County, while Dantonio Deloach added 10 points for the Tigers (20-13).
"This game doesn't define our season. We had a great season and these guys gelled at the right time and got to experience the coliseum," Crawford said. "The guys just bought in. It has been 15 years since Noxubee made it to the state tournament, so I'm proud of the guys to get to experience this environment."
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