Robert Woodard II goes airborne for Columbus in its win over Terry. Woodard, a Mississippi State signee, had 19 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead the Falcons. Photo by: Chris Todd/Special to The Dispatch
March 4, 2018 12:46:11 AM
By Brandon Shields
Special to the Dispatch
JACKSON -- They say big players make big plays in big time games.
And Robert Woodard II did just that for Columbus.
The Mississippi State signee came up huge for the Falcons as Columbus was able to hold off Terry 41-38 in the quarterfinal round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 6A State tournament at the Mississippi Coliseum Saturday night.
The Falcons (25-6) will face Starkville Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. in the semifinals of the Class 6A playoffs.
"It was tough. I thought we would make more shots when we were open and didn't, but the most important thing the guys always find a way to win," said first year Columbus coach Anthony Carlyle, who is now in his sixth straight year of making it to the MHSAA State Tournament as a head coach. "It's been the tale for us all season about shots not falling for us, but we fought through a few mistakes down the stretch to find a way to win."
Woodard would record a double-double to lead Columbus. Woodard had a game-high 19 points, pull down 12 rebounds and blocked three shots.
"Just trying to keep the team with in the game and staying positive in a game when both teams are just throwing punches," Woodard said. "We're built on defense and down the stretch is what we leaned to pull out the win."
One of his blocks might have saved Columbus' season.
With the Falcons up three Terry's Coryell came up with a steal at half court and Woodard would block his lay-up attempt at the rim.
"It's the simple things that change the game," Woodard said. "Could've been a potential one-point game and just had to help the team out."
Carlyle had even more praise about that play.
"During the timeout I told Robert he saved our season with that block," Carlyle said. "Play before that we turned it over in transition and they scored, so those are the plays you have to make in order to survive."
Casey Smith would add eight points for Columbus, while Denijay Harris chipped in seven points for the Falcons.
Now Columbus will move on to Starkville.
"Starkville can shoot it well," Carlyle said. "We will be prepared."
Coryell Mack had 16 points to lead Terry, while Arturro Bingham added nine points for Bulldogs (20-8).
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