Louisville, Noxubee boys pull stunners

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Feb. 16, 2001
COLUMBUS Whether or not Noxubee County boys' basketball coach Willie Triplett is good at dominoes, we're not sure.
But it was obvious his team's Domino-Five defense was plenty good enough to get the Tigers past the host New Hope Trojans in the semifinals of the Division 2-4A Tournament Thursday night.
The Tigers earned a berth in tonight's division finals against Louisville and a trip to the first round of the Class 4A North State Tournament on Tuesday with an 85-55 spanking of New Hope.
Fourth-seeded Louisville also advanced to tonight's division main event at 7:30 as the Wildcats pulled off a shocking 74-55 upset of top-seeded Aberdeen in the final game of the evening.
Louisville boys 74, Aberdeen 55: First-year Wildcats' coach Crandal Porter called the semifinal win the biggest in Louisville history, as far as he was concerned.
Louisville outscored the top-seeded Bulldogs in every quarter and used a free-throw clinic over the final three minutes to ice the victory. The Cats were 14-of-16 at the charity stripe in the last 2:59.
Louisville led 15-12 after one quarter and cruised into halftime with a 35-25 advantage. The Cats extended their lead to 46-34 going into the fourth quarter and used a dunk and later tip-in basket from Greg Hughes to lead 54-38 with 5:54 to play.
After the Bulldogs closed to within nine, a driving layup from Bryant Thomas gave Louisville a 56-45 lead with 3:47 remaining. The Cats' next 14 points came from the free throw line. Fred Hopkins was 7-of-8 at the line over the final three minutes.
Louisville, 19-11, got 17 points from D'Andre Hardin, 15 from Thomas, 14 from Hughes, eight from B.J. Grace, seven from Hopkins, and six from Marquess Ledbetter.
The Andy Kennedy-led team that reached the Big House in the mid-1980s might disagree with Porter, but it's certainly the biggest win for Louisville since then.
Aberdeen, whose previous losses were to Columbus, Amory, and West Lowndes, finished 23-4. The Bulldogs got 16 points from Byron Huggins and 12 from Jamaal Walker.
Noxubee County boys 85, New Hope 55: Noxubee hadn't had any success against New Hope recently, but the Tigers broke out the whipping stick at the right time.
Triplett also had a well-balanced offense. Obryant Brandy scored 21 points, Omar Conner scored 20, Reginald Roby had 17, Brandon Tate added nine, and Terrance Boykins and Johnathan Brandy both tossed in eight as Noxubee improved to 17-14.
The Tigers were up 31-24 at halftime and extended their lead to 55-44 by the end of the third quarter.
Noxubee needed only 65 seconds of the final period to go up 60-44.
New Hope, which finished 19-6, got 15 points from Steve Sanders, 12 from Lee Boyd and 10 from Trey Gibson.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at sports@themeridianstar.com.

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