Photos by Theresa Bolden Devore and Penny Lomenick
Tyler Bolden (4) goes to the goal versus the Cougars in the championship game.
Photos by Theresa Bolden Devore
Eli Pearson (3) releases a shot in the state semi-finals versus Clinton Christian.
Drayton Potts is fouled as drives to the goal versus Prairie View.
MA teams second in state • Boys lose by three to Brookhaven
The Marshall Academy Patriots had their chances in a close Class AA state champion game but just couldn’t capitalize.
The slow-paced contest Saturday night four hours from home went the way of the host school, Brookhaven Academy, 33-30.
“We just kept waiting for the time we could have consecutive offensive possessions that we could make good on, and we could not put two or three together,” coach Sam Pearson. “If we could have done that, we could have gotten control of the game.”
MA went up 3-0 in the first minute, thanks to Eli Pearson’s three from the corner.
The teams then swapped the advantage a couple of times with the Cougars leading 11-8 at the end of the first quarter.
The Patriots fell behind by five to start the second. Then Drayton Potts hit a three and Everette Jones drove to the hoop for two. The game was tied at 13.
MA went back in front briefly, 16-15, when Pearson drilled another three.
But at the half, the Patriots trailed 22-20.
Just six points were scored in the third quarter – four by Brookhaven and two by Marshall.
In the fourth, the Cougars led by six with 1:52 left.
Tyler Bolden’s successful drive to the goal off a Pearson steal cut the deficit to 30-28 with 45 seconds left.
The Cougars led 33-30 with six seconds remaining but had to get the basketball in-bounds from near half court. Pearson leaped and intercepted the in-bounds pass and then got off a long three attempt prior to the buzzer that barely missed the mark.
Pearson led MA in scoring with nine points, three threes in the first half.
Coach Pearson called Brookhaven “a great team that really makes you work on defense.”
“They like to work the ball around offensively until they get a quality shot,” he said. “And we did a good job on defense the majority of the time. We took care of things on the defensive end.”
Coach Pearson also said free throws were a difference in the game.
“When they got the ball inside, we had the tendency to foul, and when we got it inside we didn’t draw the foul,” he said.
He is proud of his team.
“You always want to win a state championship,” Coach Pearson said. “But so many times, we’ve played beyond expectations. Very few people would have believed we would be in the state championship game. It’s a testament to the determination of our kids.”
Bolden, Jones and Pearson were named all-tournament.
The Patriots (23-7) moved on to the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Overall Tournament this week at Mississippi College. They faced Union Christian on Tuesday. With a victory, they will meet the Heritage-Simpson winner Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. The semi-finals and finals are Friday and Saturday in Clinton.
The Marshall boys got off to a strong start in the semi-finals Friday and cruised to a 69-51 victory over Clinton Christian.
Bolden ignited the Patriots after the opening tip. He scored 13 of his game-high 25 points in the first quarter.
The Patriots led 15-11 after eight minutes and then really pulled away in the second.
The lead ballooned to 26-12 with 3:17 to go in the second quarter and it was 31-16 at halftime.
Things kept on clicking for Marshall in the second half as it won by 18.
Potts was also in double dights for MA. He scored 11. Pearson added nine.
In round one, the Patriots turned it up a notch in the second half as they turned back Prairie View 46-39 Wednesday, Feb. 21.
MA was up 9-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The lead increased to six early in the second but the Spartans battled back to tie the game at 15.
The Patriots put together a run late in the first half as Potts, Bolden and Pearson each hit a three. They were on top 26-18 at the break.
MA outscored Prairie View 12-3 in the third with Bolden’s putback making the score 38-21 entering the fourth.
The Spartans cut their deficit to seven with 2:06 left. Potts and Jones hit some big free throws down the stretch as Marshall got the seven-point win.
Potts led the offense with 11 points, six of those coming in the fourth. Bolden and Jones added 10 each.