Tyler Jacobs didn’t score a point for Vancleave, but perhaps came up with the Bulldogs’ biggest plays as they edged Pearl River Central 39-36 in the opening round of the Paul Wallace Classic on Wednesday.
A.J. Banks came out hot for the Blue Devils, sinking four 3-pointers as Pearl River Central raced out to a 25-17 lead at the half.
Then Vancleave coach Robert Johnson said he made an adjustment to the Bulldogs defense, going to a box-and-one with Jacobs assigned to Banks. Banks didn’t score in the second half.
“Banks shot the cover off the ball in the first half,” Johnson said. “We had to slow him down. We took the ball out of his hands. Jacobs played a very good defensive game and prevented him from hitting his shots. I think (the box-and-one) frustrated their players.’’
With the Blue Devils finding points hard to come by, Trevor Davis took over on offense for the Bulldogs. After scoring only four points in a quiet first half, Davis doubled his point total in the third quarter before scoring seven in the fourth quarter, hitting a key 3-pointer and four free throws down the line.
With 2.8 seconds left to play, Kylan Johnson hit the second of two free throws to put Vancleave up 39-36. Needing a trey to force overtime, the Blue Devils threw the inbounds outside the arc, but Davis’ steal sealed the win for the Bulldogs (8-6).
“We are trying to find ourselves,” said Johnson. “In the last few games, we’ve gotten better. But we’ve been missing free throws, open layups, and committing too many turnovers. But we made some tough shots tonight.”
Davis paced the Bulldogs with 15 points. Gage Short added 10 points.
Banks finished with 12 points, all on 3-pointers in the first half. Willie Reece finished with 11 points, scoring five of the Blue Devils’ 11 second-half points.
George County 53, East Central 45: Jamar Jackson made three free throws in the final minute as the Rebels outlasted the Hornets in the opening round of the boys bracket in the Paul Wallace Classic.
George County started pulling away late in the second quarter behind five points from Jaquan Hawkins, who helped the Rebels take a 28-22 halftime lead. Lamarkus Hayes hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter to help George County build its lead to 42-32 going into the final quarter.
East Central, though, refused to go away behind the hot hand of Preston Walker, who hit a pair of treys in each the third and fourth quarter. However, the Rebels would not let the Hornets get within five points for the rest of the game.
Cameron Hartsfield led George County with 12 points. Hawkins added 11 points. Hayes finished with nine points and LaRaymond Spivery contributed eight.
Walker connected on six 3-pointers for East Central and led all scorers with 24 points. Terrell Hooks was second on the Hornets scoring charts with eight points.
Stone High girls 56, St. Patrick 52: Elaundra Hartfield exploded for 10 points in the fourth quarter to spark a 19-13 run in the final eight minutes for the Lady Cats.
Behind Emily Calloway, who scored six of her eight points in the opening quarter, the Lady Cats outscored St. Patrick 15-4 in the first eight minutes of play.
St. Patrick responded with Morgan McCrea, who scored 10 in the second quarter to cut the Stone lead to 26-23 at the half. McCrea added eight in the third quarter as St. Patrick entered the final quarter leading 39-37.
Samantha Herrien added 13 points for Stone and Hydia McDonald had 10.
McCrea finished with 23 points for St. Patrick and Anna Clare Colson scored 11 for the Irish.
Stone High 54, Ocean Springs 50: Caleb Chandler hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game, one in every quarter, as the Tomcats held off Ocean Springs.
Stone held Darien Wallace and Malcolm Magee to two combined points in the first half. However, Magee scored nine in the third quarter and four in the fourth as Ocean Springs made a run. Wallace scored all eight of his points in the fourth quarter.
Landon Arnold finished with 16 points to lead Stone and Chandler added 12. Enrique Whaley had 10 points for the Tomcats.
Jordan Brack led Ocean Springs with 19 points and Magee had 15 points, with 13 in the second half.
St. Patrick 69, Greene County 50: St. Patrick opened the second half on fire behind seven points from Tucker Santiago and six from Jack Magandy as the Irish went on a 22-11 run in the third quarter to take a 50-32 lead into the fourth quarter.
Magandy led St. Patrick with 18 points. Tavian Strobridge added 16 points for the Fighting Irish, Santiago added 12.
Larue Weaver led Greene County with 15 points. Fred McGee and Jared Nicholson scored nine points each for the Wildcats.
Greene County girls 42, Pearl River Central 35: Jamya Hardy scored four of her eight points and McKaylee Bray connected on a trey as Greene County outlasted Pearl River Central. Ranisha Gunn led Greene County with 10 points while Bray finished with six points on two treys. Kayla Ryan paced the Devils with 12 points.
East Central girls 60, George County 29: Sania Wells scored 26 points as East Central (10-1) doubled George County. Cayce Fulton added 11 points and seven rebounds. Ressie Doss and Madison Pearson scored eight points each. Reagan Husband led George County with 10 points.
Gautier 42, Vancleave 26: Ziyuna Grady scored 16 points to lead Gautier and Melanie Demoran paced Vancleave with 10.