Rebels open district tournament with win over Flashes

Published 11:25 am Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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MADISON — Led by Trenton Davis and Tyson Young, the Adams County Christian School Rebels overcame a slow start to defeat the St. Aloysius High School Flashes 57-33 last Tuesday night in the first round of the 2023 MAIS District 3-5A Tournament at St. Joseph Catholic School of Madison.

ACCS came in the district tournament as the No. 3 seed, but did not play that way in the early stages of the game against No. 6 seed and upset-minded St. Aloysius. When the first quarter was over, the Flashes led the Rebels 12-8 and left ACCS fans who made the long trip from Natchez to Madison in less-than-ideal weather conditions wondering what the heck was going on with its beloved Rebels.

They didn’t have to wonder for long as ACCS turned the momentum in its favor thanks to better play by its defense, which in turned led to several transition buckets for the offense. The Rebels would end up outscoring St. Aloysius 19-9 in that quarter to go into halftime leading the Flashes 27-21.

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“We started off very sluggish,” Rebels head coach Matthew Freeman said. “Then we were able to find some offense in the second quarter. We picked up our defense, which led to easy shots on offense.”

While Davis led ACCS with 16 points and Young finished with 12 points, Freeman noted that Landon McGuire, who had nine points and Samuel Merriett, who chipped in with six points, were the spark plugs for the Rebels defensively, starting in the second quarter.

The Rebels continued to pull away from St. Aloysius in the second half. They outscored the Flashes 13-7 in the third quarter for a 40-28 advantage and 17-5 in the fourth quarter. Jessie Grayson contributed for the Rebels with seven points.

With the win, ACCS advanced to next week’s MAIS Class 5A South State Tournament at Central Hinds Academy in Raymond.

But first, the Rebels (20-6) take on the No. 2 seed Copiah Academy Colonels in one of the boys’ semifinal games on Friday at 8:30 p.m. Copiah Academy, which as the No. 2 seed automatically advanced to the Class 5A South State Tournament, received a first-round bye in the district tournament.

As for what they need to do better against a good Copiah Academy than they did against St. Aloysius, Freeman said, “Execute better and start faster. With a team as good as Copiah is, we can’t afford to get behind early. If we do, it will be hard for us to catch up with them.”

In a girls’ first-round game played last Tuesday afternoon, the No. 6 seed ACCS Lady Rebels saw their season come to an end as they lost to the No. 3 seed Central Hinds Academy Lady Cougars.

Central Hinds Academy will next take on No. 2 seed St. Joe Madison, which earned a first-round bye, on Friday at 4:30 p.m. Both teams automatically advanced to the Class 5A South State Tournament.