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Lady Cougars win, McComb Boys defeat LCHS

MONTICELLO-The McComb boys and the South Pike girls claimed Division 7-4A tournament championships Friday night in the tournament played at Lawrence County High School. The South Pike girls roared to a 76-45 win over county rival North Pike. After that, McComb’s boys scored the final 8 points of the game to fight off upset-minded Lawrence County, 56-48.

Earlier, in third-place game, the Lawrence County girls edged McComb 55-54, and Columbia’s boys defeated North Pike, 67-60. All teams who played Friday night will advance to this week’s 4A playoffs. The first and second-place teams will host first-round playoff games, while the third and fourth-place teams will be on the road.

Here’s a brief re-cap of Friday’s games:

LAWRENCE COUNTY GIRLS 55, McCOMB 54 (CONSOLATION) 

Perhaps the best game of the evening was the first one, played before a relatively sparse 4 p.m. crowd. Host Lawrence County got its best win of the season by outscoring McComb 20-13 in a frenzied fourth quarter.

A Zipporah Baylis free throw gave LCHS a 5-point lead with just 20 seconds left. McComb battled back and almost sent the game into overtime, but the Lady Tigers’ final free throw, with just four-tenths of a second left on the clock, rimmed out.

Haven Johnson led the Lady Cougars with 14 points, 7 of them coming in the decisive fourth quarter. DeNeisha Dickson added 12, and Jada McDuffey scored 10. Vicki Rutland’s girls evened their season record at 15-15.

Delleshonia Dixon led McComb with points, and Mylisha Hammond scored 13. Hammond carried the Lady Tigers in crunch time, scoring 7 of their last 8 points.

COLUMBIA BOYS 67, NORTH PIKE 60 (CONSOLATION) 

Charlie James’ Columbia Wildcats entered the tournament as the lowest (sixth) seed, but the Wildcats put in a good week of work, winning two of three games and giving Lawrence County a tough time of it in the other. On Friday, Columbia shot the light out in the first half, then held off North Pike after the intermission, to claim third place.

David Sartin led Columbia with 18 points, most of them coming on 3-pointers. Fredrick Peters added 16. Columbia improved to 9-17 on the season.

North Pike got 24 points from Javian Jackson, and LaDarius Dunn added 13. The Jaguars fell to 7-19 on the season.

SOUTH PIKE GIRLS 76, NORTH PIKE 45 (CHAMPIONSHIP) 

The lone blowout of the night was in the girls’ title game, with South Pike dominating a tough North Pike team. The Lady Eagles, coached by Janice Felder and Cavadas Nunnery, appeared poised to make a run in 4A, as they rolled to a 32-12 halftime lead, and were never threatened.

Moriah Hurst led the relentless South Pike attack with 27 points. Nakaylis Washington added 14, and Tomia Mitchell had 12. South Pike improved to 23-6 on the season.

North Pike got 16 points from Rickera Martin, and 15 from Latorya Humphries. The Lady Jaguars, who are ending a very successful run under retiring coach Lance Golmon, fell to 15-12 with the loss.

McCOMB BOYS 56, LAWRENCE COUNTY 48 (CHAMPIONSHIP) 

For the second straight season, McComb has rolled through Division 7-4A without a single division loss. The closest the Tigers came to losing this season was a 2-point win at Lawrence County three weeks ago. Hosting the division tournament afforded the Cougars another shot at McComb, on Lawrence County’s home floor. Again, Pat Bridges’ Cougars gave it a great fight, but Hilton Harrell’s Tigers persevered, scoring the final 8 points of the game.

By 8:30, the LCHS gymnasium was overflowing with people, and they recieved a good show. Lawrence County led by as many as 7 points in the first half, but a 6-1 run by McComb at the end of the second period trimmed that lead to 2 by halftime.

In the second half, it was the Tigers who opened up a 7-point lead, only to see Lawrence County bounce back. A Phillip Moore basket with 2:50 left got the Cougars back even, at 48-48. After that, however, the reigning 4A state champs re-asserted control, ending the game on a strong run.

Emmanuel Thompson had 20 points for McComb, which improved to 26-1 with the win. Antonio Cowart added 12 points, and Carlos Porter had 10.

Gabriel Lewis led LCHS with 15 points. Phillip Moore added 14, and Keith Davis had 10. The Cougars fell to 20-10 with loss. Lawrence County will host Port Gibson in a first-round playoff game on Tuesday.