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Newton County, South Leake in boys finals

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Saturday, Dec. 2, 2000
DECATUR Newton County and South Leake advanced to the championship of the Central Mississippi Classic at East Central Community College with Friday night wins.
The Cougars and Wildcats will conclude the week-long tournament when they tip off at 8:30 p.m. tonight.
West Lauderdale and Neshoba Central get today's boys' action under way at 2:30 p.m. when they battle for fifth place. Newton and Forest play for third place at 5:30.
Newton County boys 54, Forest 48: The Cougars used a 17-6 advantage in the third quarter as they advanced to the finals with the six-point winners' bracket win.
Newton County, 7-1, scored the last four points of the first half to take a 23-19 lead into halftime. The Cougars then jumped out to a 35-23 lead in the first four minutes of the third period.
Forest, 5-4, rallied to within 46-42 with 1:05 to play, but Mylan Anderson made two free throws with 54.7 seconds left and Justin Smith turned a steal into a layup with 32 seconds to go for the win.
Newton County got 18 points from Tony Smith, 15 from Anderson, and 12 from Al Willis.
Forest got 15 points from James Dixon, 14 from Charles Rhodes, and 10 from Paul Brown.
South Leake boys 64, Newton 61: Newton rallied from a nine-point deficit to pull even at 61-61 on a putback basket by Mario Qualls with 1:31 remaining, but the defending Class 2A state champion Wildcats made three free throws in the final 40 seconds for the winners' bracket win.
Jamal Brown snapped the 61-61 stalemate with a freebie with 40 seconds showing and Avery Jackson made two charity shots with 8.1 seconds left as the Wildcats improved to 9-1.
Brown and Kalus Johnson both had 19 points for coach Richard Rivers' Wildcats. Lakendrick Fortune added 10.
Newton, 6-2, got 17 points from Lance Pruitt, 16 from Qualls, 11 from Charles Dukes, nine from Terrell Edwards, and eight from Bobby Lindsey.
Neshoba Central boys 66, Philadelphia 38: The Rockets used a 49-19 second-half advantage to beat the Tornadoes for the second time this year in the losers' bracket contest.
Philadelphia, 4-5, took a 19-17 lead into halftime, but a 23-8 Rocket advantage in the third quarter put Neshoba up 40-27 with eight minutes remaining.
Neshoba, 7-2, got 14 points from Desmond Jones, 11 from Tavares Walker, 10 from Tawon Walker, eight each from Chris Owen and Calvin Parker, and seven from Landon Byars.
The Tornadoes were led by Keith Houston who had 17 points. Tellas Burnside scored 11 and Tony Riley tossed in six.
West Lauderdale boys 69, Carthage 63: Calvin Moore scored 36 points to lead the Knights to the losers' bracket win over their Division 5-3A opponent.
West led 22-19 after one quarter only to have the Tigers take a 37-35 lead into halftime. The Knights were back up 53-51 to start the fourth quarter.
West, 5-7, also got 16 points from Boo Ramsey and 10 from Van Wilson.
Carthage, 5-6, got 20 points from Anthony Ashwood, 16 from Wallace Alexander, 10 from Dyrell Carson, and nine from Robert Kelly.