Oilers take win over Greene County

By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
Feb. 24, 2002
LEAKESVILLE It was gut check time for the Heidelberg Oilers here at the South State 3A Boys Tournament on Saturday afternnon.
The senior-laden Oilers saw their impressive season sitting on the brink of ending when fourth-quarter play began against an intense host-squad from Greene County.
Heidelberg, however, made the plays when it counted and the result is a trip to the State 3A Boys Tournament. Two free throws by senior point guard Jessie Jones with nine seconds left sealed the Oilers' 66-61 win over Greene County.
The West Lauderdale boys, who secured their state tournament bid on Friday night with a win over Greene County, fell to Jefferson County 69-45 in the South State 3A title game.
Heidelberg, now 27-7, will be the No. 3 seed from the South and will face Amanda Elzy in next week's state tournament at 8 p.m. Wednesday. West Lauderdale, 25-12, will be the No. 2 team from the South and face Holly Springs at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. Jefferson County, 20-11, receives the South's top-seed and will get a week's rest.
Heidelberg 66
Greene County 61
The Oilers trailed by as many as seven points in the third quarter. They were having difficulties getting anything to drop in the basket while at the same time having problems stopping Greene County's building momentum.
Baskets by Joe Agee and Derrick Turner finally ended a near six-minute scoring drought. The buckets helped the Oilers enter the final quarter trailing by just three at 47-44.
Oilers coach Ted Williams said the third quarter, much like the game, was a torturous affair.
Down one, Marvin McDonald put the Oilers ahead when he drained a three-pointer from the corner following a nice pass from Jones. That made it 51-49. He then added two free throws for a 53-49 advantage with five minutes to play.
Greene County got back within a basket but the Oilers answered with a seven-point run to go up nine, their largest lead of the game. McDonald's coast-to-coast lay-up followed by an impressive catch and shoot by Fred Stephens made it 60-51 with 2:25 left.
But back came the Wildcats. Sanchez Hopkins dropped in a three for a 60-54 game. Cedric Pierce answered for Heidelberg hitting two free throws with 1:35 remaining to make it 62-54.
A basket by Martin Leverette, two Oiler turnovers and three free throws made things hairy for the Oilers. The last two makes came from Marvin Wash to cut the Oiler lead to two at 63-61 with 38.3 seconds left.
Another steal off the inbound gave the Wildcats their last best chance at the lead. Hopkins' off-balance three-pointer bounced off the glass and hit rim but fell off. Stephens grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
He made the back end of the two-shot foul for a 64-61 lead. Hopkins' last shot fell wide. Jones rebounded and was fouled by Hopkins sending Greene's best perimeter shooter to the bench. Jones made both free throws to ice it.
Greene County coach Bill Ricks said his team just couldn't make the shots when it counted.
McDonald scored 19 of his game high 29 points in the first half for the Oilers who entered the break down 39-38. Stephens chipped in 12 and Turner had 11.
Wash led Greene County, who finishes at 21-7. with 20 points. Semiko Moody had 14 and Leverette had 11.
Jefferson County 69
West Lauderdale 45
The Knights fell behind 18-7 in the first quarter and except for a few minor flurries never mounted a serious challenge against Jefferson County.
West coach Duran Clark said his team was just not physically strong enough to combat the bigger Tigers.
Delvin Thompson, who helped sink tourney favorite Heidelberg on Friday, did the same to the Knights. He dropped in 10 of his 22 points in the opening quarter, including a pair of treys.
Add in treys from Londell Eanochs and Dewones Smith in the second quarter and the Tigers were able to go up 29-15. West cut it back to 31-25 but could get no closer. It was 36-27 at the half.
Boo Ramsey hit a long-three pointer to give the Knights a lift in the third quarter but Jefferson's 6-foot-8 post in Juan Wyatt took over scoring seven in the quarter. It was 52-38 heading to the fourth.
Eanochs ended with 18 points while Wyatt had 11 and Smith chipped in nine.
Calvin Moore scored 13 points before sitting out much of the fourth quarter with a turned ankle. Karlos Lewis added 10 points and Ramsey had nine.

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