Trinity Saints advance
BENTON — L.J. Trimble and Tip McKenzie led a balanced scoring attack for Trinity Episcopal with 15 and 11 points, respectively, as the Saints defeated Immanuel Christian 73-45 Thursday night in the boys’ quarterfinals of the MAIS Class A State Tournament at Benton Academy.
Twelve of the 14 players on Trinity Episcopal’s roster ended up in the scoring column, and six of them wound up with at least seven points. And it was the Saints’ effort on defense that allowed them to pull away from the Rams.
The Saints held the Rams to just six points in the first quarter, yet they led by just eight points at the end of the quarter. That lead increased to double digits during the second quarter and by halftime, Trinity led Immanuel Christian 29-17.
The third quarter is when the Saints really put the game out of reach as they outscored the Rams 22-11 for a commanding 51-28 lead. And they put up another 22 points in the fourth quarter.
Givonni Dent finished with eight points while Jake Winston, Taylor Strahan and Kent King each ended up with seven points apiece for South State champion and third-ranked Trinity.
Immanuel Christian, the North Central State No. 3 seed, was led by Austin Johnson with 11 points and Wade Lee with nine points.
Trinity Episcopal (28-5) will take on Porter’s Chapel today at 7:15 p.m. in the semifinal round.
Velma Jackson 57, Jefferson County 43
DEKALB — T.J. Matlock scored 14 points and Patrick Hudson chipped in with 12 points as the Velma Jackson Falcons defeated the Jefferson County Tigers Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the MHSAA Class 3A Boys’ South State Tournament at Kemper County High School.
“Very hard-fought game. Velma Jackson was able to pull it out in the last four minutes,” Jefferson County head coach Marcus Walton said. “Key people got in foul trouble and we couldn’t overcome the foul trouble late. They got a lot of easy baskets.”
The Region 6-3A champion Falcons led the Tigers 13-8 after one quarter of play, but Jefferson County, the No. 3 seed out of Region 7-3A, fought back by outscoring the Falcons a combined 24-18 over the next two quarters for a 32-31 lead.
But the Tigers were not only did in by foul trouble, but their inability to make their shots and free throws.
“We missed a lot of easy shots. Their second-chance shots hurt us. We missed a lot of foul shots that could’ve changed the complexion of the game,” Walton said.
Jamel Anderson led Jefferson County with a game-high 16 points and Richard Myles had 15 points.
Despite the loss, Walton noted that he was pleased with the way the team played in its final few weeks of the season.
“Overall, I’m proud of the late run and the dedication my kids showed down the stretch,” Walton said.
Choctaw Central 56, Franklin County 38
DEKALB — Adrian Satepahoodle and Casian Dixon led Choctaw Central with 10 points each as the Warriors defeated the Franklin County Bulldogs Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A State Tournament at Kemper County.
And it was the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference as Region 5-1A champion Choctaw Central went on a tear and outscored Region 7-3A runner-up Franklin County 21-3 to break a 35-35 tie heading into the final quarter.
“It was tied after three quarters. They were really good defensively. They hit three 3s. We panicked and shot the ball too fast thinking we had to catch up in three minutes,” Bulldogs head coach Chris Jordan said.
Dixon made a three-pointer late in the third quarter and scored his other seven points in the fourth quarter. Jordan said Dixon was the key factor in the Warriors’ win.
“They’re a fundamentally sound team. They didn’t make a lot of mistakes. We missed a lot of free throws,” Jordan said. “Kemper County’s got a good gym to host.”
Franklin County (14-9) was led by Milton Griffin with 16 points and Antony Green with eight points.