Oilers edge past Wildcats

By Staff
Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
ROUGH AND TUMBLE MHS's Keno LeFlore loses his footing against Heidelberg's Marvin McDonald.
By Rocky Higginbotham/Special to The Star
Dec. 15, 2001
It's official: The double-digit win Heidelberg pulled off against Meridian High last month was no fluke.
The Class 3A Oilers overcame the loss of four players who fouled out and a 31-point effort by the homestanding Wildcats in the fourth quarter, beating Meridian 79-77 in Friday night action at the Frazier-Yarbrough Memorial Tournament.
Heidelberg moved to 9-3 with the victory and faces Quitman today at 5:30 p.m. in its final contest of the round-robin tournament. The boys finale tonight pits Meridian against Noxubee County. Noxubee was a 66-65 winner over Quitman in Friday's other game.
Heidelberg 79
Meridian boys 77
How wild was Friday night's final contest?
There were a total of 68 fouls called in the game, which lasted more than 2 hours, 10 minutes. Six players fouled out, four of them Heidelberg starters.
The Oilers were definitely not intimidated early, building a double-digit lead in the first quarter and stretching that advantage to as many as 18 points before settling for a 43-28 lead at the break.
Meridian pulled within nine early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Josh Walker, only to see Heidelberg answer with a tomahawk slam dunk by Derrick Turner and a nifty up-and-under from Jessie Jones.
The Oilers began the final quarter of action with a 10-point lead, and pushed it to 14 midway through the period before Meridian made its final push.
An 8-0 run by the Wildcats, capped by a steal and layup Lamarace Tucker, made it 70-63 with 2:09 left.
That was as close as MHS came until there were only 15 seconds remaining, when Jamaine Winfield knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a five-point game.
Marvin McDonald's freebies with 14.6 seconds left basically sealed it for Heidelberg, making a putback by Theo Naylor and a last-second 3-pointer by Keno Leflore go for naught.
McDonald finished with 16 points for Heidelberg, which got 23 from Jones, 19 from Turner and 10 from Stephens. Only McDonald finished the game with less than five fouls.
Meridian got 15 points from Winfield, 13 from Leflore and 11 from Mark Walker.
Noxubee boys 66
Quitman 55
In Friday afternoon's first boys' contest, Noxubee County won a thriller by holding off Quitman in the final seconds.
Noxubee was up five points with 29 seconds left before Quitman's Marcus McCormick knocked down four straight free throws sandwiched around a Tiger turnover pulling the Panthers within 66-65.
Quitman also gained possession with 4.1 seconds remaining after the Tigers missed the front end of a one-and-one situation from the free-throw line, but Noxubee's Lamarcus Windham intercepted a pass underneath the goal to end it.
Delvin Young led Noxubee with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Omar Conner scored 14 points to go with nine rebounds and five assists. Obryant Brandy had 11 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals as the Tigers improved to 4-9.
Quitman, which is now 3-11, was led by Jason Pearson's 18 points. McCormick scored 15, Sidney King had 12 and Jonathan McCarty nine.
Fifteen of Pearson's 18 points came in the final 8:42 of the contest.
After Quitman let a six-point lead slip away, Noxubee went up 32-28 at halftime thanks to a 12-1 run midway through the second quarter.
The Tigers led by as many as 11 before Pearson went on an 8-0 run all by himself in the last 42 seconds of the third quarter.
Quitman gained its final lead at 48-47 with 6:27 left, but Noxubee scored 10 of the next 12 points to take control before the wild finish.

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