Thursday, February 19, 2009
Indians shock Tunica
By CLAUDE VINSON
Coach Michael Neal would be the first to tell you that it wasn’t a cakewalk, but his Indians pulled it off.
They went unbeaten in the Region 3-3A Tournament at Tunica to claim the coveted crown.
They opened Monday night of last week with a 73-53 win over Lewisburg and then a squeaker win, 36-35, over county rival Holly High in the semis. Mario Parker scored 10 in the big victory over the Hawks Thursday night.
By virtue of that victory, the Indians got to go face to face with the number one seed in the tourney and the leader in 3-3A, the roaring Lions of Rosa Fort, on Friday night for the title.
The Indians took the floor with tomahawks at the ready. Perhaps riding the adrenalin from the previous two victories or just plain old determination, the Indians took the first frame 16-12. They were still holding the Lions at bay when halftime rolled around. They were out front by nine points at 34-25.
The Lions could only trim one point off that lead when the third ended and they were still in the hole, and worried, at 49-41. In the fourth, the Lions came roaring back with Martrevious Sanders doing most of the roaring. They caught and passed the Indians and from that point on it was a teeter-totter. Each time the Indians put the Lions down, they came clawing back. It was tied at 59 all at the two minute mark.
To try and regain the winning momentum, Rosa Fort had to resort to fouling. And the Indians can thank their lucky stars and the charity stripe consistency of Mario Parker, who sank 13 freebies.
Coach Mike Neal had his first Region 3-3A crown and a first-ever victory over Rosa Fort at 66-61.
Jermone Marion had 23 points with four treys included. Parker was next with 17.
Sanders led Rosa Fort with 22, followed by LaBarron Collins with 16.
Byhalia was slated to host a first round North Half game versus Booneville on Tuesday night of this week.
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