New Hope celebrated its return to the Mississippi Coliseum with a 78-50 win over Lanier in the quarterfinal round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 4A playoffs Thursday night in Jackson. Senior Tyler Stevenson (24) makes a move to the basket. Photo by: Chris Todd/Special to The Dispatch
March 1, 2018 10:59:17 PM
By Brandon Shields
Special to the Dispatch
JACKSON -- New Hope's Tyler Stevenson and Andrew Junkin had no idea what Lanier was going to be like.
But in the end, it was clear who had the size advantage.
Behind the twin towers and a strong third quarter the Trojans would race past Lanier 78-50 in the quarterfinal round of the MHSAA Boys Class 4A playoffs at the Mississippi Coliseum on Thursday night.
New Hope (23-7) will face Corinth (22-9) in the semifinals of the Class 4A playoffs on Monday night at 7 p.m.
"I felt like early in the game we came out nervous and took us a while to get relaxed, but I think when we picked things up defensively in the second things turned up for us," said New Hope coach Drew McBrayer. "It also helps to have the size advantage inside."
Junkin, New Hope's seven-foot forward, would pour in a double-double to lead the Trojans.
Junkin would have a game-high 24 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked four shots.
"To be honest we didn't know what to expect. We knew Lanier had one good player, but when I got the ball in the post on the first possession I knew we had an advantage," Junkin said. "Me and Tyler have chemistry. I get doubled team a lot so we feed off each other."
Stevenson would also have a double-doulble for New Hope adding 23 points, pulling down 15 rebounds and blocking four shots.
"My teammates they got me in the flow of the game early and it just started from there. We played together as a team and came out with a win," Stevenson said. "We didn't know much about them, but we knew we had the size advantage so we just had to feed the ball inside and good things would happen."
The Trojans never trailed, but would break things open in the third quarter. New Hope was up 29-22 at halftime then would open the third quarter on a 9-0 run and would extend the lead to 52-35 at the end of period.
"That has been our thing lately. Takes us a while to get the flow of the game and the second half was no different and use the energy the rest of the game," McBrayer said. "Survive and advance is what it's all about now. Corinth is well-coached and got some guards that can play so it'll be a dog fight and we will be ready."
Earl Smith had 19 points to lead Lanier, while Quandarius Studaway added 12 points for Bulldogs (12-17).
1. Kelly sees signs of growth at Caledonia HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. New Hope's Tackett sees progress despite winless start HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Kentucky upsets No. 14 MSU COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Wildcats' Snell Jr. backs up talk with big game COLLEGE SPORTS