Third quarter wave pushes Bogue Chitto past Loyd Star in region boys’ finals

Published 6:32 pm Saturday, February 10, 2024

When you’re fortunate enough to watch or play on or coach a successful basketball team, it’s always a pretty awesome experience when your squad gets to host an important postseason game on their own home court.

Because in theory, you should always play your best at home, right? No one else shoots as much on your goals and no one else feels as comfortable in your barn as you do.

On Friday, when the Bogue Chitto boys’ team began shooting on the basket in front of their home bench inside the Bobcat Den, the hoop started to look like it was six feet wide.

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What had been a five-point game at halftime became a blowout in the third quarter when the Bobcats outscored second seeded Loyd Star 30-4 in an eventual 73-42 win for Bogue Citto in the Region 7-2A title game.

BC junior guard Devonta “Bam” Thompson scored 15 points in the penultimate third period. Thompson hit three 3-pointers in those eight minutes as Bogue Chitto created a wave of turnovers with pressure that led to run outs and transition points for the Bobcats and coach Marc Howard.

The Bogue Chitto side of the gym was celebrating through the fourth quarter as the clock ran non-stop and Howard played reserves for much of the final seven minutes.

Thompson, named Region MVP after the game, finished with 30 points. Howard was named Region 7-2A Coach of the Year while Thompson, senior Shomari Jenkins, junior Noah Magee and sophomore Randy Crisler were all named All Region 7-2A. 

For Loyd Star, senior guard Nathan Mills was picked as the Region 7-2A Offensive MVP and named All-Region along with senior forward Colby Terrell and senior guard Caden Yarborough. West Lincoln junior Ty Terrell and senior Zackary Taylor were also tabbed All-Region 7-2A.

Terrell finished with 12 points to lead the Hornets and coach Seth Britt. An inside, outside forward, Terrell found himself surrounded when the ball went inside for Loyd Star. He hit a corner 3-point just before the end of the first quarter to pull the Hornets to within 16-15.

The teams traded 3-pointers on four straight trips with just under four minutes until halftime as the pace began to pick up. Mills canned a deep ball for the Hornets that was met with a banked in 3-pointer from Jenkins for Bogue Chitto.

LS responded with a corner 3-pointer from Eli Thornton, but the Bobcats came right back with another long range shot that kissed off the glass and through the rim for Jenkins to put BC back ahead 31-29. Bogue Chitto led 36-31 at halftime. 

Bogue Chitto can play fast, faster than any team in this area and on Friday, they hit the gas in the third quarter with a frenzy that overwhelmed their Possum Bowl rivals from Loyd Star.

Thompson scored 40 points in a 78-63 win at Loyd Star on Jan. 18 and might have topped that on Friday, had he not spent much of the final period on the bench.

The Bobcats are far from a one-man team, as the 6-foot, 250-pound Crisler makes life hard in the paint for opposing forwards. He finished with 13 points and Jenkins, who plays lead guard for most of the night with Thompson on the wing, scored 12 points. Junior Shakell Jenkins scored six points, Magee had five points, Isaiah Collins added five points too and Jayden Poole rounded out the Bobcat scoring with two points. 

Running the baseline and bombing corner 3-pointers, Thompson affects the game with his speed. He runs so fast that his teammates must run faster to keep up with him, forcing the entire defense to try and keep up. Whether sprinting out to the 3-point line or running ahead in transition, if you get him the ball in time, he’ll get a wide-open look thanks to his quickness. 

Shomari Jenkins made four 3-pointers and Thompson finished with five 3-pointers. Each time one of his shots from deep connected during that third quarter run, it led to a louder cheer from the large Bogue Chitto student cheering section that had a Bobcat pep-band sitting at the top of the bleachers. 

Again, it’s always a little sweeter when it’s happening on your home court.

Loyd Star (18-7) will get to play again on its home court on Tuesday, when the Hornets are set to host Scott Central (11-12) in the opening round of the MHSAA 2A playoffs. On Friday, Mills finished with nine points, Anthoy Humphrey scored five points and Xavier Vaughn added five points too. Yarborough scored three points, Thornton finished with three points, Ethan Smith scored two points and Carter Britt scored one point for the Hornets.

Bogue Chitto (25-1) is back at home too, playing host to Clarkdale (12-13) on Tuesday in the first round. The winner of that game will play either Heidelberg or St. Andrew’s Episcopal in the second round. Bogue Chitto holds two wins this season over SAE, winning 45-39 on the road and 61-41 at home.