West Lauderdale boys make state tourney

By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
Feb. 23, 2002
LEAKESVILLE They may be the fourth best team here, but the West Lauderdale Knights are headed to the Big House.
In a stunning upset, the smaller but quicker Knights sped past host Greene County 67-61 in Friday night's late game of the South State 3A boys tournament.
West Lauderdale, now 25-11, will play Jefferson County for the South State title today at 3:30 p.m. Greene County, 20-5, will play Heidelberg at 2 p.m. in the consolation game, with the winner advancing to the state tournament.
Heidelberg fell to Jefferson County 67-61 in double overtime. The Oilers missed their last eight shots in the second overtime.
As for the Knights, they avoid having to play the Oilers in order to get to the state tournament. They were 0-3 against Heidelberg this season.
Knights coach Duran Clark was overjoyed to see his team execute under pressure and land a berth in the state tourney.
Offensively, the Knights got a huge game from Calvin Moore who tossed in a game-high 31 points. Boo Ramsey added 13.
The Knights never trailed after the mid-point of the second quarter and led 26-22 at the half. The game was tied twice in the third quarter, the last coming at 38-38.
A 35-foot three-pointer by Ramsey put the Knights up 44-40 after three quarters.
West then held Greene County scoreless for the next four minutes. In that span the Knights stretched the lead to 12 at 52-40 following a basket and two free throws by Karlos Lewis and one basket from Moore.
The Wildcats finally got a three-pointer to drop from Semko Moody to make it 54-43 with 3:26 left in the game. Greene County, though, could not stop Moore and company from breaking its press.
Greene County did make one last run hitting consecutive three-pointers to close to within 59-53. West answered with alley-oop dunks by Ramsey and Moore to close the deal.
Martin Leverette led Greene County with 28 points, Johnas Street added 14.
Jefferson County 67
Heidelberg 61
Heidelberg couldn't close out Jefferson County when it had the chance and the result was a double-overtime 67-61 loss in Friday's first South State 3A boys game.
The Oilers scored the first three points of the second overtime, only to watch Jefferson County reel off the next eight to take a 65-60 lead with 50 seconds left.
Heidelberg's last point came on a free throw by Fred Stephens with 30.3 seconds left. The Oilers missed their last eight shots in the second overtime.
Oilers coach Ted Williams was disappointed with the loss.
The main Tiger scorer was Delvin Thompson who rattled in a three to answer Marvin McDonald's shot as the second overtime got under way. He then made two free throws following two missed shots by the Oilers to put Jefferson County ahead to stay at 62-60.
A free throw by Juan Wyatt followed by a steal and lay-up by Joshfer Nichols essentially sealed it for the Tigers.
Thompson finished with 21 points to lead Jefferson County, Nichols had 13, followed by DeWons Smith who hit for 12 and Wyatt who added 9.
Heidelberg was led by McDonald and Stephens with 17 points each, Derrick Turner chipped with in 15.
The Oilers grabbed their first lead of the night when Billy Wright made the front end of a two-shot foul. Turner then tipped in the miss to make it 21-18.
Jefferson County answered back with a three-pointer to tie it at 21-21.
Two free throws by LaKendrick Harridd with two seconds left made it 23-21.
Jefferson County went on a 9-2 run to go up 32-23 for its largest lead of the game. The Oilers started coming back behind Stephens, who had seven points in the quarter to make it 38-33 by quarter's end.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Heidelberg had its best run scoring seven straight to go up 47-40. A triple by Nichols and two free throws each by Thompson and Smith forged another tie. It was 51-51 at the end of regulation.
McDonald put the Oilers up 56-53 in the first overtime. Thompson hit his first big trey of the game to re-tie it for the Tigers.
In the final 14.5 seconds of the first overtime, both Thompson and Stephens had a chance to win it at the line but could make only one of two free throws, leaving the game tied at 57-57, forcing a second overtime.

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