Lawrence Co. boys take division title

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 19, 2001

TERRY – Sharpshooters Dairus Starks and Nick Mikell provided theoffensive fireworks Friday night in leading the Lawrence CountyCougars to a 51-46 victory over Crystal Springs in the Division6-4A Tournament championship game. The senior guards combined for40 points, 24 by Mikell, as Lawrence County overcame an 8-point,40-32 deficit entering the fourth quarter.

The comeback victory gave the Cougars (25-5) the right to hostan opening round game in this week’s South Mississippi playoffs.They’ll play St., Stanislaus, the loser of the Division 7-4A titlegame, Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

Crystal Springs (17-14) must travel to Picayune Tuesdaynight.

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In the girls title game, No. 5 seed South Pike completed itsCinderella run with a 50-43 win over Crystal Springs. South Pike(19-12) will host the loser of the Oak Grove-Bay St. Louis gameMonday night while Crystal Springs faces the Division 7-4A winneron the road.

The Cougars were staring at a 40-32 deficit when CS guardCharlie Jenkins hit a running layup at the end of the thirdquarter. Mikell sacked 2 straight treys from the corner, giving theCougars a 44-43 lead with 4:56 left in the game.

Mikell said the Cougars weren’t ready to throw in the towel whenthey fell behind. “We had to stay with it and keep our heads up.Crystal Springs shot the ball real good.”

The Tigers shot the lights out in the first half, led byJenkins, who sacked 4 treys and led his team to a 29-27 advantage.Jenkins finished with 21 points.

Lawrence County coach Bobby Lee witnessed the Tigers’ shootingexhibition from the sidelines. “Crystal Springs shot the lightsout. We were in good defensive position but No. 24 (Jenkins) shotgreat.”

Jenkins scored 14 first-half points but was the only player indouble figures.

Starks said the Cougars were confident they could come back fromtheir deficit. “We never thought we were out of it. When we play asa team we can be pretty good.”

Seeded No. 1 in the tourney, the Cougars pulled ahead 45-44 whencenter Chris Bridges hit a short field goal. Teammate Tim Hortoncontributed 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 7 assists to the victory.

Crystal Springs coach Lee Peyton said his team did a good job.”We probably played on of our better games. Our kids haven’tlearned how to put a team away when we’re ahead.

“We missed some key free throws and you can’t do that against agood team like Lawrence County.”

The Tigers were minus reserve guard Jeffrey Frazier whosustained a torn ACL in Thursday night’s semifinals win overMcComb.