SP Basketball 2/13/15

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 15, 2013

SP cancels Tupelo’s 2013 playoff plans

By Myra Bean

South Panola Tigers defeated the Tupelo Golden Wave 64-62 in overtime. But it was not supposed to happen that way.

Well, at least to Tupelo’s thinking they were.

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The Tigers (12-9, 1-6 district) entered the first round of playoffs the No. 4 team, while Tupelo, last year’s state runner up, was No. 1.

The Tigers earned a trip to the championship round tonight against the Grenada Chargers at 7:30 p.m. and subsequently a trip, for the first time in five years, to the north state round.

South Panola had fallen to Tupelo two times already this season, once by 31 points, so it should have been a pushover. South Panola had a different thought process going.

“We played so good on the ball man to man good defense. Tupelo didn’t have the open looks. Their leading scorer lit us up at their place,” said Tiger head coach Charlie Howard.

With fans on their feet on both sides of the gym cheering the Tigers on, they gave it their all and fought to the very end to win.

“I’d rather not have many in the gym but it was exciting,” Howard said. “We started with not that many, then the other teams came in and our fans who were just getting off work began to pile in, but we were already into the flow of the game by then.”

With 52.7 seconds left in regulation, the Tigers had a 57-53 lead. Tupelo worked the clock and forced some fouls to pull within two points, 57-55 with seconds remaining. After South Panola missed a basket and Tupelo got the rebound, Tupelo’s Alex Foster tied the game as time expired on a layup.

“When we went into overtime I was thinking they were about to put a lot of pressure on us and we don’t handle pressure real well. But at the end we did,” Howard said.

In overtime, Tupelo took the first lead 59-57 and then the Tigers tied the score at 59.

Going on a 5-0 run the Tigers led 64-59 with 39.2 seconds on the clock.

Tay Johnson hit from three-point range for Tupelo to pull within two with 17.6 seconds left but the Tigers were able to run out the clock and claim the win.

“It was a great ball game to be sitting and watching especially the last quarter and overtime,” Howard said.

At halftime the game was tied at 28 after DeAndrea Harris shot a three-pointer with a second left on the clock. The Tigers took their first lead, 30-29, in the third with 6:27 on the clock on a Kendall Turner field goal.

Three minutes later the game was locked at 36 on another Turner basket with 3:30 on the clock.

After three more lead changes and two ties Tupelo had a 43-41 lead at the end of the third. They hung on to the lead until South Panola rallied to tie the game at 51 with 1:43 left on the clock.

Madison led the Tigers with 23 points followed by Powell with 12 points and three rebounds. Turner had eight points, six rebounds and four steals.

Other scorers include Eric Booker, eight points, one rebound, four steals; Oxcavious Poole, four points and led with nine rebounds; R. J. Scott, four points, three rebounds ; Harris, three points, one steal; and Jaylen Webster, two points and two rebounds.

Howard said his motivational speech in the locker room was it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season.

Howard told the team before overtime started they had four more minutes and a whole quarter to play.

“It’s like the game had never been played. We were just now starting and we were going out there being the better team. And we were the better team.”

Howard said Madison who was the leading scorer has had games like this one when he wanted them.

“He’s got to be more of a self-motivator,” he said.