Bogue Chitto gets 2 big 2A 2nd-round wins, plays at Holmes CC Saturday

Published 1:31 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Goodman, Mississippi, the Bobcats are headed your way on Saturday as Bogue Chitto has two teams playing in the MHSAA 2A quarterfinals at Holmes Community College.

The BC victory train rolled on through the weekend as the girls’ team moved to 28-0 on the year with a 62-41 win over Pisgah in the 2A second round for coach Marc Howard on Friday.

A night later, it was the boys’ turn as they are now 27-1 after winning their 2A second round game 67-52 against the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Saints. It was the third win of the season for BC over SAE after sweeping them a pair of regular season games. The Bogue Chitto boys’ team is also coached by Howard.

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The BC girls’ hit the court in Goodman on Saturday first, playing at 1 p.m. against the Bay Springs Bulldogs (18-5). The boys’ matchup for the Bobcats begins at 4 p.m. and features Bogue Chitto versus Newton High (23-6).

Bogue Chitto 62, Pisgah 41 (Girls)

The packed home side of the Bogue Chitto gym didn’t see their team get off to the greatest start on Friday as the Bobcats led just 6-4 after the opening eight-minute quarter.

Even when Bogue Chitto was up 26-14 at halftime, there was a sense that the home team should have held a larger lead.

The unbeaten Bobcats don’t often look tight, as they play their style of game from tip to buzzer on most nights. On Friday, they showed those true colors early in the second half, as senior center and Southern-Baton Rouge signee DeMya Porter got them going when the third quarter began.

Pisgah head coach Jake Wheeler was forced to call a timeout with 2:45 left in the third quarter as Porter hit a quick 7-0 run herself that pumped the Bogue Chitto lead all the way out to 48-18.

Porter had scored inside going towards the basket, then hit a 3-pointer and then been on the receiving end of a nice assist by Destinee Thompson that came in transition and led to a layup and that Pisgah timeout.

After not scoring in the first quarter, Porter finished with a game high 34 points. After the game, she was recognized for topping the 2,000-point mark in her career with the game ball and an ovation from the crowd.

Moved up to the varsity squad after she finished the junior high season as an eighth-grader, Porter has been on an absolute tear over the last year as she was just at the 1,000-point mark in November of her junior year.

“She’s been at a high level for a while now,” said Howard. “I looked back and noticed she’s only been held to single digit-scoring in three of our last 100 games.”

For Porter, the daughter of Bogue Chitto standouts Kendrick Porter and Vanessa Andrews Porter, reaching 2,000 points was a familiar feeling in her family.

“My mama hit 2,000 points in her career, and I just knew I wanted to reach that goal if I could,” said Porter. “We did not play well to start the game and I was frustrated, but we talked at halftime about how we could play better, and we did.”

Bogue Chitto was the much older team, starting two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore in the game while Pisgah countered with a first five that included four sophomores and one freshman.

Thompson, a sophomore, scored 11 points, with six of those coming in a 22-point third quarter for the Bobcats. Ty May, a senior with soft touch and an inside-outside game, scored 10 points. Junior forward Layla McKnight, the only first year starter on the team, scored five points. Freshman Raven Ratcliff was the only Bobcat to score off the bench with two points.

It’s a testament to how well things were clicking along for the Bobcats that they won in a blowout with junior point guard Neeli Magee failing to score. Magee and her play on defense, as Bogue Chitto extended pressure after halftime, was a big part of that surge in the third quarter for the Bobcats.

“This is definitely one where we can look at the film and get better from it,” said Howard. “That was maybe the worst we’ve played to start a game all season, but I was proud of how we finished.”

As much history as BC girls’ basketball has created over the years, it had been a minute since the program saw the quarterfinals. Last season, BC went 16-10 and lost 56-54 at Velma Jackson in the second round.

Then still a 1A program, Bogue Chitto last made the quarters in 2017, when then coach Christi Terrell and the team lost to Pine Grove 52-35 in the third round. A year before that, the Bobcats won their most recent state championship to cap a 31-3 season in the 1A ranks.

Standing between the program reaching the semifinals for the first time in eight seasons are the Bay Springs Bulldogs. Bay Springs beat Loyd Star 70-39 in the opening round and St. Andrew’s Episcopal 41-26 in the second round on Friday.

The Bulldogs are coached by Nedra Hosey, who was an All-State player herself at the school during her high school career. Bay Springs has some size of its own inside in 6-foot center Anna Patterson.

The winner of Bogue Chito and Bay Springs will take on the winner between Calhoun City (23-2) and New Site (21-5) in the 2A semifinals at the Mississippi Coliseum.

Pelahatchie (23-6) and Heidelberg (19-7) meet in the other 2A semifinal on Saturday in Goodman. The winner of that game has a semifinal date with the winner between Ingomar (29-4) and East Union (29-4).

Bogue Chitto 67, St. Andrew’s Episcopal 52 (Boys)

On Saturday, much of the same crowd was back at the new gym on the campus of Bogue Chitto to see the Bobcats seek a second straight 2A boys’ basketball quarterfinal spot.

BC beat St. Andrew’s 45-39 in Ridgeland way back on Nov. 16. They then played the Saints again on Dec. 1 and won 61-41 at Bogue Chitto.

The 67-52 victory over SAE (7-15) was the 19th-straight win this season for the Bobcats.

Junior guard Devonta “Bam” Thompson scored 13 of the first 15 points put up by BC in the first quarter. Thompson again got hot in the fourth quarter, hitting three 3-pointers over the final eight minutes as he finished with a game high 27 points.

Senior guard Shomari Jenkins added 13 points and sophomore forward Randy Crisler chipped in 12 points. Junior wing Shakell Jenkins added eight points and junior Noah Magee rounded out the Bobcat scoring with seven points.

Newton High blasted Wilkinson County 81-34 in the first round and then topped North Forrest 67-44 in the second round on Saturday. The Tigers are coached by Crandal Porter, who’s won multiple state championships coaching both the boys’ and girls’ teams ate NHS over the years.

Newton High has won 12 games in a row as they won Region 5-2A while BC won Region 7-2A.

The winner of this game will play either New Site (22-6) or Northside (17-10) in the semifinals at “The Big House.” Northside knocked Bogue Chitto out last year in the semifinal round. The other semifinal at Holmes CC on Saturday will have Bay Springs (18-7) taking on Pelahatchie (22-7). The winner of that game will play the winner between East Union (19-9) and Ingomar (23-8).