109-53: West Lincoln Bears advance

Published 11:25 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Coach Avery Nobles and his Pelahatchie Chiefs were introduced to West Lincoln’s Big Green Machine Tuesday night in Jack Case Gymnasium. The Bears broke loose and scored from all sides of the court in a 109-53 romp in the opening round of the South Mississippi Class 1A playoffs.

The victory advances Coach Lane Young’s Bears (28-3) to Thursday’s quarterfinals. They will host Salem at 8:30 p.m. as part of a 4-game menu, which begins at 4 p.m. The winners advance to Friday’s semifinals. Championship finals are Saturday night as the top two teams advance to the state tournament in Jackson.

In other South 1A games Thursday, French Camp plays Sebastopol at 4, Dexter meets Hinds AHS at 5:30 and Durant faces West Lowndes at 7.

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“We came in and took control of the game,” said Coach Young. “Our pressure defense picked up in the second quarter. Our kids played extremely hard and everybody got some playing time.”

Young’s Bears roared to a 63-26 halftime lead, cashing in numerous steals with layups. They were directed by senior guard Jared Case’s 18 points. Senior forward Lucas Burris chipped in 13 points. Tamarcus London and Duane Marshall scored 10 apiece. Fifteen Bears put points on the scoreboard. They were minus senior guard Darius Clark who sprained an ankle earlier Tuesday.

On the backboards, Case collected 7 rebounds. He also had 9 assists and 6 steals.

Junior center Sam Bivens had 5 blocked shots and 6 rebounds. LaKeith Ward grabbed 8 rebounds.

The large partisan crowd was treated to an offensive show. Burris created a 2-handed slam early in the game, sparking a 16-0 run. Case and LaKeith Ward sank treys along the way.

The Chiefs (11-12), No. 4 out of the Region 5-1A Tournament, were overwhelmed by West Lincoln’s versatile attack. They got a game-high 25 points from junior guard Cameron Moore. Erick Hoard chipped in 12 rebounds and 10 points.

“I knew it would be a tough game for them,” said Young. “They had lost two straight coming into this game.”

The Chiefs had 17, first-half turnovers. Coach Nobles, in his 11th year at Pelahatchie, said his young team would continue to improve next season.