Choctaw Central’s Kameron Hickman battles for position in an earlier game. The Warriors will be the No. 2 seeded team in this week’s region tournament.
Choctaw Central’s Kameron Hickman battles for position in an earlier game. The Warriors will be the No. 2 seeded team in this week’s region tournament.
The Choctaw Central boys came close but just missed winning the No. 1 seed in this week's Region 5-3A tournament which is being held at Southeast Lauderdale High School.

The Warriors dropped a 53-51 decision to Southeast Lauderdale on Friday which dropped them to the No. 2 seed in the tournament. They still get a first-round bye and open the region tournament Thursday against the winner of Southeast Lauderdale and Kemper County. The Choctaw Central girls, also the No. 2 seed on their side of the bracket, will play the winner between Philadelphia and Heidelberg at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Both Philadelphia teams, meanwhile, played in the first round on Tuesday. The Lady Tornadoes played Heidelberg and the Philadelphia boys took on Newton. The winners advanced to Thursday night's second round.

The Warriors finished the season with a 13-10 overall record and 7-3 in the region.

"If we had beaten Southeast Lauderdale, we would have been the No. 1 seeded team," Choctaw Central coach Johnny Slaughter said. "It was senior night and there were a lot of distractions before the game. I'm not sure we had our minds focused because we couldn't seem hit anything in the second half. But now we'll try to get on track and advance in the post season."

Earlier in the week, the Warriors had defeated Newton High School 62-59. SheChem Grant scored 23 points to lead the Warriors while Dalton Clegg added 16 points and Demarcus Wilson scored 13.

Against Southeast Lauderdale, the score was tied at 27-all at the half. The Tigers pulled ahead in the third quarter and held on for the win. Trey Lilly scored 15 points to lead the Warriors while Grant and Demarcus Wilson both added 12 points and Dalton Clegg scored 10 points.

The Choctaw Central girls split a pair of games last week. They defeated Newton 72-53 but lost to Southeast Lauderdale 84-72.

"We've just got to figure out a way to get past Southeast Lauderdale," Lady Warrior coach Bill Smith said. "We've won 21 games so far. We are healthy right now and are looking forward to the tournament."

Kandace Lasiloo scored 18 points to lead the Lady Warriors past Newton. Choctaw Central led 30-16 at the half and held on for the win. Meleah Isaac added 15 points and Shaneisha Willis scored 11.

Southeast Lauderdale led 43-32 at the half and held on for the win. Kristen Dixon led Choctaw Central with 28 points and Lashayla McMillan added 14 points.

Philadelphia

The Tornadoes finished the regular season with a pair of Region 5-3A victories. Philadelphia defeated Kemper County 47-36 and then stopped Newton 58-55.

"Those were big wins for us," coach Jason Broom said. "We kept our focus and held on in both games. We still have a lot of room for improvement but that gave us a little momentum."

The Tornadoes finished the regular season at 9-19 overall and 4-6 in the region.

Sherman Bufkin scored 13 points in the Tornadoes' win over Kemper County. Philadelphia outscored the Wildcats 17-11 in the final quarter to take the win.

The Tornadoes came on strong in the fourth quarter with 27 points to pull past Newton. Kaleb Moore scored 21 points and Bufkin added 11.