Choctaw Central puts away Jefferson for South crown

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 23, 2003

FAYETTE &045; The start wasn’t what Jefferson County had in mind, but at least the Tigers came back and made things interesting.

Interesting, but not convincing.

The Tigers couldn’t get over the hump to stay late before losing to an undersized Choctaw Central club 75-64 in the Class 3A South State championship Saturday.

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The loss puts the Tigers playing at 2:30 p.m. Friday against North champion Yazoo County.

Jefferson trailed 23-7 by the end of the first quarter.

&uot;That’s what we didn’t want to do,&uot; JC head coach Marcus Walton said. &uot;We didn’t want to fall behind early. Choctaw Central likes an up-tempo game. We didn’t take advantage of our size differential. Their tallest player was maybe 6-0.&uot;

The Tigers made up for the difference in the second quarter with a 21-9 run to put the lead at 32-28 heading into the second half.

The Tigers tied it up in the fourth quarter when they were called for a technical foul with 4:00 left, and the Warriors held on for the win.

&uot;They shot the ball extremely well,&uot; Walton said. &uot;I have to give credit to Choctaw Central. They’re a very disciplined team. But I have to give credit to my kids. They refused to lie down.

&uot;They shot the ball extremely well, and we knew that coming in. The first half they pretty much got wide-open looks. We just didn’t take advantage of what we had, which was size advantage. That’s what really hurt us.&uot;