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Posey, Evans in star wars

Seniors Gage Posey and Matthew Evans have been playing basketball together at Brookhaven Academy since the seventh grade. They’ll have one more opportunity Friday in the MAIS Class AA-AAA All-Star Basketball Game. This year’s showcase will be played at Jackson Prep.

It’s a full day of basketball, starting with the Class A girls all-star clash at 11 a.m. The North and South boys teams play next at 12:45 p.m., followed by the AA-AAA girls at 2:30 and the AA-AAA boys at 4:30.

The all-stars reported Wednesday for practice. They’ll have another opportunity to showcase their basketball talents on Thursday night when the 3-Point Shootout and Slam-Dunk contests are held at Madison-Ridgeland Academy. Hope they have strong backboards.

Evans and Posey were key players in BA’s march to the Class AA state football championship last November. Posey at quarterback and Evans at wide receiver gave the Cougars an awesome 1-2 combination.

Posey passed for 6 touchdowns and ran for another in BA’s 49-40 state championship win over Marshall Academy. Evans also starred in the defensive secondary.

The Cougars made a strong showing in the recently completed basketball season. They finished third in the AA State Tournament at Canton Academy and reached the quarterfinals of the MAIS Overall Tournament, posting a 26-14 record under Coach Dale Watts.

Posey averaged 19.1 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Evans averaged 12 points, 6 assists and 3 steals per game.

“Gage and Matthew played six years for me, when they started in the seventh grade,” said Watts. “I'[m extremely proud of them.”

Besides football and basketball, Posey and Evans play baseball, too. Posey has signed a baseball scholarship with Hinds Community College and will try out for the football team this summer.

Watts said it takes a special individual to excel in more than one sport. “These two guys being multi-sports athletes are committed to what they are doing.

“They are ‘Yes, sir’ and ‘No, sir’ type guys. They always did what I asked them to do, to the best of their ability.”

Evans is recognized most for his defensive skills and ball-handling. Watts said, “Matthew is a terrific point guard. With all the teams we played during the summer and during the season, he had a lot of quickness and savvy to get by them.”

Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 190 pounds, Posey is a southpaw. He pitches and plays centerfield in baseball. His versatility was obvious on the basketball floor.

“Gage could basically play any spot on the court,” said Watts. “He could shoot from the perimeter and he could post up inside. He was a strong rebounder around the post.”

Both athletes possess an exceptional work ethic. Watts recalled, “In the summer they were playing 7-on-7 football, playing doubleheaders in baseball and then going to summer (basketball) camp with us.”

Watts expects a bright future for both young men. “I look for great things out of both of those guys.”

Evans is an honor roll student and president of BA’s National Honor Society.

Ty Quick of Copiah Academy is playing for the South AA-AAA boys who are coached by Chris Weaver of McComb Parklane and Michael McAnally of East Rankin.

Kim Klunk of Parklane is representing her school in the AA-AAA girls game. Parklane’s Ricky Gray and Lamar’s Russell Cruise are coaching the South girls.

In case you missed it, the Starkville Academy girls and Central Private boys captured the MAIS Overall Tournament title. It was a grueling week of competition in A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus.

The Lady Vols of Starkville Academy completed a perfect season by defeating Presbyterian Christian School of Hattiesburg 54-33 in last Saturday’s championship game. Blessed with size, strength and quickness, the Lady Vols finished a perfect 43-0 under the direction of Glenn Schmidt, winning back-to-back crowns.

In an upset, Central’s Private’s Rebels put their name in the record books by upsetting heavily favored Jackson Prep 74-67 in the boys title game. Even more impressive was CP’s second half comeback from a 43-28 deficit with 5:53 left in the third quarter.

The Patriots (35-4) couldn’t stop CP’s Simpson Anderson who poured in a game-high 36 points. It was the first Overall title for the Rebels (29-4) and the first for a Louisiana-based MAIS member.

Coach Watts recognized CP’s high talent level and went to a slow-down game in the Class AA South State Tournament finals, losing a 22-20 decision three weeks ago in John R. Gray Gymnasium.

Congratulations to Coach Henry Gantz and his Rebels. They were runners-up to 3-time defending state champion Marshall Academy in the AA State Tournament.

Another in case you missed it. The McComb boys and Pascagoula boys were overpowered in the MHSAA Class 5A State Tournament Tuesday by Capital City opponents. The Callaway boys crushed McComb 67-45 and the Provine boys sacked Pascagoula 75-43.

In 5A girls, the South Jones Lady Braves eliminated Lanier 45-38 and Canton’s Lady Bulldogs whipped Pascagoula 62-48. Canton and South Jones will play for the state title Saturday.

Coach Hilton Harrell’s McComb Tigers should be strong again next season. The best news for them is that they’ll be Class 4A residents for the next two seasons in all sports. That should make them a big fish in a smaller pond.

Contact sports editor Tom Goetz by Email: tom.goetz@dailyleader.com