Phillip Parks takes the ball to the hoop versus the Chiefs.

Photos by Theresa Bolden Devore
Wyle McMillen (25) passes to teammate Zach Sorrell (20) versus Magnolia Heights last week.

Photos by Theresa Bolden Devore
Jeremiah Jones goes between a couple of Bayou Academy Colts.

Tyler Bolden collides with a Colt as he releases a shot inside the lane.

Patriots beat rival Chiefs

Coach Sam Pearson said the key word for his team in the all-important, post-Christmas portion of its schedule is respond.

The Marshall Academy Patriots did just that in the Magnolia Heights Christmas Classic last week. They stunned the host team and then beat Bayou Academy before losing to public school Strayhorn.

MA was coming off a frustrating loss at West Memphis Christian (Ark.) prior to the Christmas recess.

“A million things can go good and bad in the course of a game or the course of a season,” Pearson said. “It’s all about how you respond to adverse situations, and we didn’t do that at West Memphis. There’s an appropriate way to respond to good things and bad things.”

The Patriots, who had fallen to rival Magnolia Heights by nine points earlier in the season, made a statement in the early going Wednesday, Dec. 27, versus the Chiefs and went on to claim the 57-50 win.

MA surged ahead 9-2 in the first but then trailed 13-10 at the end of the period.

With 2:30 to go in the second quarter, Zach Sorrell scored off an assist from Wyle McMillen and the game was tied at 21.

The Patriots then took the lead and never trailed again. They carried a 28-22 advantage to the locker room at halftime after Tyler Bolden drove to the goal for two points and then McMillen drained a three from the corner just prior to the horn.

Everette Jones provided the spark in the third. MA extended its lead to 32-22 at the 6:00 mark. It was 40-33 at the end of the quarter.

The Pats went back up by 12 with 4:35 left in the game when Bolden dished to Jones, who scored, and they went on to win by seven.

“We did a good job of focusing on what needs to be done to win the game,” Pearson said.

Jones finished with 21 points. Bolden added 15 and Phillip Parks nine.


The next day Marshall got off to a much slower start but still got the win, a 61-39 blowout of Bayou.

The Patriots trailed 5-0 until Jones hit a three at the 6:00 mark of the first quarter. But they were still down 16-8 after the first period.

The second quarter was all Patriots. Jones’ steal and bucket put MA up 20-18 with 1:17 to go in the second quarter and the rout was on.

The Patriots outscored the Colts 16-2 in the period to take a 24-18 halftime lead.

Bolden and Jones started the third with back-to-back threes. Jones’ lay-up on a fast break pushed the lead to 16 and then Eli Pearson’s pass to Bolden, who scored, pushed it to 20 with 1:56 to go in the third. It was 42-26 entering the fourth.

The Colts tried to rally but never got the deficit to single digits. Jones had back-to-back steals and buckets and MA went on to win by 22.

Jones poured in 24 points. Bolden had 11. Nine Patriots scored.


MA faced public school Strayhorn Friday morning in the Magnolia Heights Christmas Classic and dropped an 82-47 decision to the Mustangs.

The Patriots trailed 17-11 after one quarter, 37-28 at the half and 65-33 at the end of the third.

Leading scorers for Marshall were Jones with 18 and Parks and Pearson with nine each.

The Patriots (9-3) will play Royal Ambassadors Friday at home.

After that, District 1-AA action heats up. Marshall will visit Winona Christian Tuesday, Jan. 9. The Patriots are 1-0 in the district after a win over Oak Hill December 15.

“We’re getting a lot of contributions from a lot of people,” said Pearson, who got a couple of players back from injury. “Our depth is solid. I’m excited about where we’re going.”

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
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