Wilkinson County moves on in Region 7-3A Tournament

Published 12:24 am Wednesday, February 13, 2008

WOODVILLE — It was a little closer than he would have liked, but at the end of the day, Wilkinson County basketball coach Arthur Clark was just glad his team could play another day.

The No. 2 seed Wildcats kept their season alive with a 73-65 win over No. 7 seeded Tylertown Chiefs in the first round of the Region 7-3A tournament at Wilkinson County.

“We had our problems tonight,” Clark said. “But I’m satisfied with the way we played. We knew Tylertown wasn’t going to just come in here and lay down. They gave us a good game tonight and we’re happy to come out on top.”

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Wilkinson County looked like they had the game wrapped up when they took a 63-50 lead with under three minutes to go.

However, Tylertown took advantage of three quick Wilkinson County turnovers and hit four 3-pointers, including Jaqus Pittman’s with 1:33 remaining to cut the lead to 65-62 with 1:33 remaining.

Pittman then stole the inbounds pass and was fouled going up for a shot.

However, he missed both free throws, which would become a trend down the stretch for the Chiefs.

Tylertown shot five free throws in the final 1:10 and converted only one of them.

By comparison, Wilkinson County converted six out of eight free throws in the final seconds to put the game out of reach for good.

“We made some crucial free throws down the stretch,” Clark said. “They had closed in close, but our free throw shooting allowed us to stretch the lead back out again.”

Wilkinson County had four players in double-figures, led by Kenny Harden with 24. Megal Covington added 16 while Corey Anthony scored 14 and Quantarrius Lee tallied 11.

“Those guys really stepped up for us tonight,” Clark said. “I’m happy to get the win.”

Claythan Conerly led Tylertown with 21 points while Pittman added nine.

The Chiefs season comes to an end with the loss while Wilkinson County is now guaranteed at spot in a South State play-in game.

The Wildcats will face either Franklin County or North Pike in the semifinals of the tournament at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.