Oilers slip past Jefferson

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
March 6, 2002
JACKSON The Heidelberg Oilers have been leading a charmed life in the Class 3A State Tournament at the Mississippi Coliseum.
Heidelberg got a last-second basket from Fred Stephens to beat Amanda Elzy 60-59 in first-round action last week and had to rally from an eight-point deficit to beat Jefferson County 56-54 in Tuesday's semifinal.
One more win, charmed or otherwise, and you can call the Oilers state champions for 2002. The Oilers will play the winner of today's Corinth-Holly Springs game Saturday at 2:30 p.m. for the 3A championship.
Heidelberg, 31-7, trailed 18-15 at the end of the first quarter, but the Oilers had Jefferson's 6-foot-8 junior Juan Wyatt in foul trouble as he picked up his third foul with 48.8 seconds to go in the opening period.
Working on the big man was part of Heidelberg coach Ted Williams' game plan.
Jefferson went up 28-20 midway through the second quarter only to have the Oilers rally to within 30-26 on a basket by Marvin McDonald.
The Tigers took a 32-26 lead into intermission.
Wyatt picked up his fourth foul just 17 seconds into the second half and teammate LaKendrick Harried got his third and fourth fouls in the first five minutes of the third quarter.
Harried fouled out on a blocking foul away from the ball with 3:19 still remaining in the third quarter.
The Oiler momentum continued as Heidelberg rallied to within 40-38 by the end of the third quarter.
Turner took the Oilers home from there as he scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. Two Turner free throws tied the game at 40-40 with 7:40 left and a basket by Turner gave the Oilers a 42-40 lead at the 6:33 mark.
The teams swapped leads four times with Dewones Smith's long 3-pointer giving Jefferson a 47-45 lead with 3:58 left.
The Tigers extended their lead to 50-46 with 3:09 remaining after making 3-of-4 free throws in a 30-second span.
Turner picked it up again, scoring five straight points as Heidelberg reclaimed the lead at 51-50 with 2:10 to go.
Thompson's basket gave Jefferson its final lead of the night at 52-51 with 1:49 showing.
Following a timeout, Turner drove the right baseline for a dunk and a 53-52 Oiler advantage with 1:05 left.
Stephens rebounded a miss by Jefferson's Smith and made two free throws for a 55-52 lead with 42.6 seconds to go.
A driving layup by Joshfer Nichols pulled Jefferson to within 55-54 seven seconds later.
McDonald was fouled with 18.3 seconds left with Smith picking up his fifth foul on the play. McDonald made one of two free throws as the Oilers advanced to the 3A state finals.
Turner led Heidelberg with 17 points. Stephens scored 14, McDonald had nine, and Jessie Jones had eight.
The Oilers proved it's never too late to learn something that might come in handy.
Jefferson, 20-12, got 16 points from Thompson, 13 from Smith, seven from Wyatt, and six each from Harried and Londell Eanochs.