Heidelberg was one quarter away

By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
March 10, 2002
JACKSON One quarter from a state title, that's where the Heidelberg Oilers stood here before a big Mississippi Coliseum crowd of 6,000-plus on Saturday afternoon. The opponent, though, was a state-tournament savvy team from Corinth. The Warriors entered the contest with four state titles. They now have five following the 69-61 victory over the Oilers for the 3A Boys crown. Senior Warrior guard Bryan Brown was a big reason why. The cat-quick, 5-foot-10 senior was the sparkplug behind Corinth's comeback from a pair of 10-point deficits in the third quarter.
Brown, who helped lead Corinth to the Class 3A football title last December, said things began to change once the Warriors started playing their game.
The bigger Oilers had used a strong inside game and the soft shooting of guard Marvin McDonald to take a 46-36 lead with three minutes left in the third quarter. Brown, though, started the rally by hitting two, long-range three-pointers. The last came on the final play of third quarter to make it 50-47.
In the fourth quarter, Corinth picked up its intensity on defense. McDonald, who had 17 points through three quarters, was evidently a focal point.
The Oilers scored little or nothing for most of the fourth quarter. The only offense came from 6-foot-5 forward Derrick Turner who had big game on the boards with double-digit rebounds.
But for head coach Ted Williams, having one option, wasn't enough. "We became scared to pass the ball. We were afraid they'd steal it. Derrick was our only option because Marvin was taken away. My point guard Jessie (Jones) did the best he could late in the game," Williams said.
Corinth head coach Dave Robbins said the Warriors had to take away McDonald and then collapse inside on Turner and 6-4 post Fred Stephens.
The game's key sequence came at the 1:30 mark with Heidelberg trailing 57-54. Three chances, all within five feet, fell off the mark. The Warriors rebounded and got an easy run-out to go up five.

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