Wesson boys test Loyd Star in finals

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003

WESSON – The Loyd Star Hornets will lock horns with the hostCobras Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. for the Wesson InvitationalTournament Championship.

Monday night, Wesson eliminated Dexter 75-51 and Loyd Starsmashed St. Aloysius 81-51 in the winner’s bracket to set uptonight’s title clash between a pair of big region rivals.

In the loser’s bracket, Bogue Chitto knocked off NatchezCathedral 62-55 and North Pike crushed Enterprise 49-24.

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Wesson (5-8) overcame a 13-10 deficit in the first quarter withan explosive 24-5 run on Dexter (6-9) to take a 34-18 lead athalftime. The Cobras played their best third quarter of the yearwith a 23-18 run on the visiting Bulldogs for a 59-36 advantagegoing into the final frame.

“The intensity was there for four quarters,” said Wessonfirst-year head coach Ron Kessler after the win. “Dexter brings alot of pressure. We had to have a strong third quarter. I was realproud of their effort.”

Powering the Cobras with 19 points, including 3 three-pointerswas Collin King. Adrian Merchant pumped in 17 points, sacking three3-pointers. Johnny Butler and Herman Johnson followed with 11points apiece. Finishing with 10 points was Wade Williams.

The Bulldogs were led by Brian Fortenberry with 13 points.Netting 10 points was Kendrick Lewis.

Loyd Star 81, St. Aloysius 51

The Loyd Star Hornets (13-1) were up on the Vicksburg-basedFlashed (4-8) 21-16 in the first quarter. Loyd Star went on a 28-8run in the second quarter to take a 49-24 cushion into the dressingroom at halftime. The Hornets outscored the Flashes 32-17 in thesecond half to advance to the title game.

“We played good tonight,” said Loyd Star boys coach Gene”Moochie” Britt. “Our press worked real good again. We had onlynine turnovers in the game.”

Jared Britt fired in a game-high 26 points, grabbed eightrebounds, made six steals, had five assists and blocked two shotsfor Loyd Star. Tyler Williford netted 20 points, pulled down fourrebounds, made five steals and had four assists. Collecting 11points, six rebounds and four assists was Sidney Chester. DewayneBranning scored 10 points.

Anthony Rector’s 14 points paced St. Al. Kellie Richards pickedup 12 points.

Bogue Chitto 62, Natchez Cathedral 55

In the loser’s bracket, the Bogue Chitto Bobcats got a big 21points from Irrie Catchings. Nicholas Smith netted 16 points.

Jonathan Jackson sparked Cathedral with 15 points. Scoring 13points was Matt Boss followed by Russell Barner with 12.

North Pike 49, Enterprise 24

Glover Quinn’s 14 points helped North Pike to the win.

Leading Enterprise with nine points was Corey Smith.