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Prep boys roundups: Tigers bit by the Bulldogs

MEADVILLE — The Franklin County Bulldogs overcame some serious foul trouble in the second quarter to rally for a 60-56 win over the Collins Tigers Tuesday night in an MHSAA Class 3A South State play-in game.

Derek Bethley and Milton Griffin were the two leading scorers for Franklin County in this game, but they had to sit out a good bit of the second quarter after each of them picked up their third foul.

Bethley finished with a game-high 22 points and Griffin scored 11 points. Fred Coleman added 10 points for the Region 7-3A runner-up Bulldogs, who advanced to the Class 3A South State Tournament with the win.

The Class 3A South State Tournament will be held at Kemper County in DeKalb after the Wildcats defeated Carthage 65-58 Tuesday night.

“Derek picked up his third early in the second and sat out seven minutes. Milton sat out five minutes and another sat out about three minutes,” Franklin County head coach Chris Jordan said.

And while Jordan said the key to the Bulldogs’ victory was the way they executed in the last five minutes of the ball game, it was also the defense that helped them get back in the ball game after trailing 35-32 at halftime.

Franklin County held Collins, the No. 3 seed out of Region 8-3A, to just eight points in the third quarter and ended up with a 46-43 lead at the end of the quarter. The Bulldogs then outscored the Tigers 14-13 in the fourth quarter to cap off the come-from-behind win.

The Tigers were led by Lazarius Shelby with 18 points and Harris Flowers with 12 points.

“Derek has a pretty good game for the first time in a while. The bench did a good job keeping us in it. We did a good job rebounding the ball. But you can’t make the same mistakes we keep making,” Jordan said.

Franklin County (14-8) will take on Choctaw Central Thursday at 4 p.m.

Jefferson County 61,

Sumrall 54

SUMRALL — Jefferson County scored 30 points in the fourth quarter, the majority of them after going down by double digits as the Tigers rallied to upset the Sumrall Bobcats in a Class 3A play-in game Tuesday night.

Jefferson County, the Region 7-3A No. 3 seed, came back from a 10-point deficit with just five minutes left in the ball game — which is not easy to do on the road in an opposing gym at this time of the season.

“Just the guys staying together and being mentally tough. They had the desire and the will to want to win,” Tigers head coach Marcus Walton said. “Credit goes to the guys for persevering.”

Nicholas Brown, who had 19 points in the game, was the key player during Jefferson County’s amazing comeback. And so was the team’s overall defensive intensity.

“The whole team got after them in the last five minutes. And the guys gelled together,” Walton said.

The Tigers led Sumrall 10-4 at the end of the first quarter and even though they scored just nine points in the second quarter, they led 19-16 at halftime. But the Bobcats, led by Aron Brown and Keith Mallard, turned the momentum in their favor by outscoring the Tigers 19-12 in the third quarter to go up 35-31. And it looked like the game was getting away from Jefferson County early in the fourth quarter. But the Tigers would not be denied on this night.

Brown led Sumrall, the Region 8-3A runner-up, with 14 points and Mallard ended up with 13 points.

Richard Miles Jr. had a big game for Jefferson County as he led the Tigers with a game-high 24 points.

“Miles has been the key for us all year long. When he plays well, Jefferson County plays well,” Walton said. “He’s our senior guard. He played forward the (previous) two years.”

Jefferson County will take on Velma Jackson Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Class 3A South State Tournament at Kemper County.

Dexter 82, Cathedral 43

TYLERTOWN — The Dexter Bulldogs used a 20-1 run to start the second quarter to break away from Cathedral as they went on to handily defeat the Green Wave Tuesday night in an MHSAA Class 1A South State play-in game.

Dante Butler led Region 8-1A champion Dexter (20-5) with a game-high 18 points.

“They played full-court man-to-man defense. They were denying everything. They were double-teaming every pass,” Cathedral head coach Peter Arnold said. “When we did break the press, we had some open lay-ups and we overshot them. It takes its toll on you.”

Cathedral, the No. 4 seed from Region 7-1A, did a pretty good job of staying close with Dexter in the first quarter and only trailed by six points, 17-11, at the end of the quarter. But it was the second quarter that proved to be the Green Wave’s undoing.

“We turned the ball over in the second quarter. They’re tough. They’re a very good defensive team and they got the best of us tonight,” Arnold said.

D.J. Perry led the Green Wave (10-16) with 13 points and Carl Hammitte had 11 points.

“It’s been a long year with the injuries and illnesses. It’s been a challenging year for us,” Arnold said.

West Marion 78,

Wilkinson County 72

FOXWORTH — A bad first quarter and a untimely turnover late in the ball game ended up proving to be costly for Wilkinson County as the Wildcats saw their season come to an end with a tough loss to the West Marion Trojans in a Class 3A South State play-in game Tuesday night.

Wilkinson County, the Region 8-3A No. 4 seed, almost completed a stunning comeback on the road after trailing by 19 points at the end of the first quarter. The Wildcats actually had the lead with just 40 seconds until the unthinkable happened.

“We just had crucial turnovers down the stretch. We dribbled too much in traffic. We were playing for the final shot. A big turnover,” Wilkinson County head coach Ronald Hines said. “It was more turnovers than anything else. We did a poor job rebounding the basketball.”

West Marion ended up scoring the last few shots to preserve the six-point win.

Wilkinson County (11-17) was led by Devin Fosselman with 19 points. Lakeithrick Montgomery added 16 points and Kenyon McDonald had 15 points.

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