Rebels upset Copiah Academy, fall to St. Joe in district tournament

Published 11:05 am Monday, February 6, 2023

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MADISON — Adams County Christian School’s varsity boys’ basketball team hung tough throughout the first half of last Saturday night’s 2023 MAIS District 3-5A Tournament boys’ championship game against St. Joseph Catholic School of Madison.

Then came the second half and more specifically the third quarter. Number one seed and host St. Joe Madison turned up the defensive intensity right out of the break as the Bruins used that big third quarter to enable them to pull away for a 51-31 win over the No. 3 seed ACCS Rebels.

The Bruins jumped out to a 14-7 lead over the Rebels at the end of the first quarter, but ACCS would not go away quietly as it outscored St. Joe Madison 13-12 in the second quarter to go into halftime down just 26-20.

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“We were right there with them at halftime, down just six points. Came out in the third quarter and only scored four points,” Rebels head coach Matthew Freeman said. “Their man-to-man defense kind of frustrated us.”

Freeman added that the Rebels did a tremendous job defensively holding a high-scoring Bruins team to just 51 points, but they had a hard time getting shots to fall offensively after halftime.

“Thought we did a good job defensively, but we couldn’t do anything offensively,” Freeman said.

The Bruins ended up outscoring the Rebels 13-4 in the third quarter and 12-7 in the fourth quarter. Tyson Young led ACCS with 11 points and E’Darius Green added six points.

With the loss, the Rebels (21-7) will represent District 3-5A as the No. 2 seed in the MAIS Class 5A South State Tournament at Central Hinds Academy in Raymond, which starts on Tuesday. They take on the District 4-5A No. 3 seed Bowling Green School Buccaneers in a boys’ quarterfinals game with tip-off scheduled for 7:45 p.m. Tuesday.

As for what he knows about what kind of team Bowling Green has, Freeman said, “They’re well-coached. They’ve got some big kids in size. They’ve got some good guards. They’re not one-dimensional. They really like to get the ball inside and score from there.”

ACCS 60, Copiah Academy 40 (Friday night)

MADISON — Balanced scoring and a big third quarter were key in the No. 3 seed ACCS Rebels’ stunning 60-40 upset win over the No. 2 seed Copiah Academy Colonels last Friday night in the boys’ semifinals of the 2023 MAIS District 3-5A Tournament at St. Joe Madison.

Five players for ACCS scored at least eight points. The Rebels were led by Landon McGuire with 15 points while E’Darius Green finished with 12 points and Tyson Young added nine points. Trenton Davis and Jessie Grayson contributed with eight points apiece.

“Any time you can have several different players score, it makes it tough for the defense to key in on player,” Freeman said. “Landon had five 3s, which opened the floor for us and give us more spacing.”

The game was tied at 11-all at the end of the first quarter before the Rebels outscored the Colonels 14-10 in the second quarter for a 25-21 halftime lead. But it was the third quarter that proved to be the biggest difference in the outcome of this game as ACCS put up 22 points while holding a good Copiah Academy team to just nine points in that span for a 47-30 lead.

“We just had a really big third quarter where we got some easy buckets off our defense. We executed well defensively,” Freeman said. “We played the same defense in the third quarter that we played in the first half. We just went over it in-depth at halftime and made the adjustments to where it would be better.”

While the win advanced ACCS to the boys’ title game on Saturday night, the loss dropped Copiah Academy to the third-place game that afternoon. The Colonels did defeat No. 4 seed Central Hinds Academy and will be the District 3-5A No. 3 seed at South State while the Cougars will be the district’s No. 4 seed.