Neshoba’s Ed’Riggo Harrington, left, goes for a loose ball against Laurel on Tuesday.
Neshoba’s Ed’Riggo Harrington, left, goes for a loose ball against Laurel on Tuesday.
During the week before Christmas, both Neshoba Central basketball teams and the Philadelphia scored big wins to improve their records.

The Neshoba Central girls went 2-0 as they defeated Laurel 46-44 and Meridian High School 40-38.

The Neshoba Central boys defeated Laurel 74-71 in a rematch of the Class 5A state championship game. The Rockets closed out the week with a 95-50 loss to Meridian High School.

The Philadelphia boys defeated Clinton High School 46-41 and lost a 58-49 decision to Newton County. The Philadelphia girls went 0-2, losing 55-47 to Newton County and 53-23 to Clinton.

Also, Leake Academy swept a pair of game past the Jackson Victors. Choctaw Central and Union High School were open.

Philadelphia will be in action Friday night when the Tornadoes host Newton County. Leake Academy will play in the Simpson Academy tournament starting Wednesday, and Choctaw Central will travel to Oklahoma Thursday to play in the Idabel tournament. Neshoba Central and Union will both be open.

 

Neshoba Central

Cori Keats scored the winning basket to lead the Lady Rockets past Meridian High School last Friday. The game was tied at 36-36 with 1:43 left to play. Keats scored to put the Lady Rockets up 38-36 with 1:25 left. Meridian scored to tie it at 38-38 with 59 seconds left and it looked like the game might be headed for overtime.

As the game was winding down, Keats ran in on the right side of the key. She caught a pass and put it in for the winning shot with 23 seconds left. The Lady Rocket defense held Meridian scoreless the rest of the way.

Meridian had led early as they went up 21-16 at the half. Early in the third quarter, the Lady Rockets’ shooting went cold and the Lady Wildcats went up 27-18. But the Lady Rockets stayed patient and outscored Meridian 8-2 in the time remaining in the quarter to trail 29-26 at the break.

Taylor Ben sank a three-point shot early in the fourth period to tie the game at 29-29. Jasmine Chickaway sank a basket with 3:18 left to put the Lady Rockets up 34-31. The two teams battled until the score was tied at 36-36.

Taylor Ben led with 17 points while Keats scored 10 and Hallie Ben scored eight.

Earlier in the week, Neshoba Central outscored Laurel 12-7 in the fourth quarter to take 46-44 victory.

The Lady Golden Tornadoes went up 10-3 in the first quarter. The second quarter was even and Laurel led 26-20. Neshoba Central outscored the Lady Tornadoes 14-11 in the third quarter and trailed 37-34 heading into the final quarter.

Neshoba took the lead in the fourth quarter and held on to improve their record to 8-6. Ben led with 14 points while Billie and Keats both scored nine points.

“I was very happy with both of those wins,” Coach Fred Morris said. “Our shooting was cold in the first half against Meridian and that isn’t unusual when you are playing on the road. We played good defense and stayed within reach, and we worked our way back into the game.”

The Neshoba Central boys entered the holidays with a 9-7 record as they savored their victory over Laurel.

The Golden Tornadoes led 19-15 after the first quarter. Neshoba Central outscored the Golden Tornadoes 20-17 in the second quarter and trailed 36-32 at the half. The Rockets would outscore Laurel 25-15 in the third quarter as they led 57-51 heading into the final quarter. Laurel came back but Neshoba Central held on for the win. Jacob McMillian led with 13 points while Trajan Fielder scored 12.

 

Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Tornadoes took a 46-41 win over Class 6A school Clinton High School last Friday.

The Tornadoes led 20-17 at the half. Philadelphia had a 9-6 scoring edge and led 29-23 heading into the final quarter. They played the Arrows even to take the win. Jarron Boler led with 15 points while Stetson Moore scored 12 and Tanner Boler scored 10.

Earlier in the week, the Tornadoes lost a 58-49 decision at Newton County. The Cougars led 37-24 at the half and held on for the victory. Moore scored 28 points and Boler added 10,

The Philadelphia girls lost both of their games. Andrika Carter scored 20 in the 55-47 loss to Newton County while Nia Luckett scored 11.