Corinth downs Oilers for title

By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
March 10, 2002
JACKSON There is a reason why Corinth High School now owns five state high school boys basketball championships.
They do the little things well. Like blocking out, making lay-ups and hitting free throws.
The Warriors did that and more in rallying past Heidelberg to claim the 3A Boys state title with a 69-61 victory here before a vocal 6,000-plus audience here Saturday afternoon at the Mississippi Coliseum.
Heidelberg was attempting to win its first state title in basketball.
The senior laden Oilers appeared to be on the verge of doing so leading for much of the game until the final four minutes.
But it was those four minutes where Corinth rose up and the Oilers didn't.
Heidelberg head coach Ted Williams was puzzled why his team couldn't finish off a season-long quest to gain the gold ball.
Corinth head coach Dave Robbins, whose team won the state title in 2000, said his team did the things necessary to gain another championship.
The two teams were tied at 52-52 with 5:07 left. At 4:20, the Oilers called time. Instead of coming resurged, it was Corinth who took charge.
Senior guard Bryan Brown handed his team its first lead of the game with a driving basket at the 4:14 mark. The Oilers then turned it over. That led to a score by Galvin Davis for a 56-52 lead.
Derrick Turner answered for the Oilers with a power basket to make it 56-54. That would the closest the Oilers would get the rest of the way.
Down three, the game's deciding sequence unfolded. The Oilers, who had a good size advantage, had three close-in shots at a basket that could've made it a one-point game.
Instead, the ball got tipped away following the final miss and that led to easy breakaway basket by Michael Crayton for a 59-54 edge with 1:22 left.
The next inbound was thrown away. From that point on, the Oilers had to foul.
Brown stepped up and made four straight free throws to put the Warriors ahead by nine at 63-54 with 1:02 left.
The Oilers got back to six when Jessie Jones hit a three-pointer to make it 65-59 with 24 seconds left.
But two more free throws by Brown sealed it.
Brown finished with a game high 25 points. He made four, three-pointers and was 7-of-9 from the free throw line.
Corinth concluded its season with a 29-3 record.
Heidelberg opened the game in fine fashion racing out to a 9-0 lead.
A McDonald three-pointer at the horn gave the Oilers a commanding 20-11 lead.
Two more baseline baskets by McDonald and a free throw by Jones put the Oilers up 25-15 with 5:26 left in the half.
Still down eight, Corinth finally made a move going on an 8-2 run to close to within two (31-29) following a steal and dunk by Brown as the half ended.
The Oiler reasserted themselves in the third quarter getting a rare three-pointer from Turner to go with baskets by Billy Wright and Jones to take a 40-33 lead three minutes deep into the frame.
The lead would reach 1o points on two occasions, the last at 46-36 following a basket by McDonald.
Corinth again came back behind Brown who hit consecutive threes, the latter making it a 50-47 game going to the fourth quarter.
Heidelberg, who finishes at 31-8, got 17 points from McDonald, 15 from Turner, 12 from Jones and nine from Fred Stephens.
All four players are seniors. Wright added six.
After Brown, Corinth got 12 points each from Davis and Marcus Howard and 10 from Rico Wood.