Raiders win one when it counts
By By Austin Bishop/Special To The Star
Feb. 8, 2001
GALLMAN Sometimes one win can cure the hurt of a lot of losses.
Despite losing 20 games this season, the Raiders of Lamar High School won one when it counted and earned a spot in next week's MPSA Class AAA State Tournament with a 59-39 victory over Adams County Christian School on Wednesday night.
While the Raiders won by 20, the first three quarters of the first round game of the MPSA AAA South State Tournament was a struggle at times.
But Lamar outscored ACCS 20-9 in the fourth quarter to win the game played at Copiah Academy. The Raiders, now 10-20 on the year, will take on Central Private the top-ranked MPSA school in the state in the semifinals at 6 p.m. on Friday. The finals and third-place game will be played on Saturday. The top four teams advance to state next week at Central Hinds Academy in Raymond.
The Lamar School girls came within an eyelash of making the State Tournament themselves.
The Lady Raiders couldn't connect on two short jumpers that wouldn't go down in the last 30 seconds of the game, as Central Private School held on to take a 33-32 win.
The boys game saw Lamar turn a 14-13 first-quarter lead into a 30-21 advantage at the half.
While the Rebels of ACCS could only score one point in the first six minutes of the third quarter, Lamar really didn't take advantage of the situation, only picking up seven of their own to take a 37-22 lead.
Adams County cut it to 39-30 at the end of the third quarter, but could get no closer than that.
With the Raiders leading 45-34 with six minutes to go in the game, Lamar went on a 9-0 run that put the game away.
Jared McKee was a major force for the Raiders inside, scoring 30 points, pulling down 12 rebounds, getting six steals and blocking four shots.
While McKee had a big night offensively, the Raiders shot poorly from the free throw line as a team, making just 15-of-32. "You just need to shoot better than that," Yates said. "If we do that Friday night we will get killed."
Central Private beat Central Hinds 93-54 in first round action on Wednesday night.
Dusty Jones scored eight points for Lamar against ACCS, while Ryan Satcher who missed most of the second half of the season due to a knee injury scored seven points. Sam Eakes had 11 rebounds.
Central Private Girls 33, Lamar 32: After falling behind by five points at 27-22 in the fourth quarter, the Lady Raiders rallied to take the lead at 30-29.
Junior guard Myleia Shirley led that charge, scoring all but two of Lamar's 10 fourth-quarter points.
Central Private hit two free throws with 3:24 left in the game to retake the lead at 31-30, then hit two more with 2:06 to play to stretch it to 33-30.
Summer Ritchie scored for Lamar with 1:32 left to cut it to 33-32. The Lady Raiders had a good look at a three-pointer and then the two short shots in the last minute of the game, but none of the three shots would fall.
Shirley led Lamar with 12 points, while Libby Huff scored six.