The Choctaw Central boys and the Neshoba Central girls were the winners this weekend in the annual Choctaw Central Invitational Tournament which concluded Saturday night.

The Choctaw Central boys defeated Neshoba Central 60-39 thus handing the Rockets' their first defeat of the season. The Neshoba Central girls posted a 58-42 victory over Choctaw Central in the girls finals.

The Warriors advanced to the finals of the Choctaw Central tournament with a 55-52 win over Union. It was a close game all the way. Leading 8-6 after the first quarter, the Warriors outscored the Yellowjackets 16-14 in the second quarter to lead 24-20 at the half. Both teams scored 31 points in the second half with the Warriors holding on for the victory. Shechem Grant led the Warriors with 18 points while Demarcus Wilson added 11 points and Brandon Kennedy scored nine. Adrian Campbell led Union with 18 points and Quinton Campbell added 10 points.

Neshoba Central defeated Leake Central 67-65 in their first round game.

Neshoba Central led 34-30 at the half. The Gators tied the game at 48-48 going into the final quarter. The Rockets outscored the Gators 19-17 in the final period. Gary Willis scored 18 points to lead the Rockets while Clayton York added 15 points and TJ Ben scored 14.

That led to the championship matchup between the Warriors and the Rockets. Just last week, Neshoba Central had defeated Choctaw Central 66-54 at the Rockets' gym, and the Warriors bounced back to even score at their home court.

The Rockets went up 15-8 after the first quarter, but the Warriors would outpoint Neshoba Central 18-6 in the second stanza and led 26-21 at the half. After an evenly played third quarter, the Warriors turned it on in the final eight minutes of play. They held Neshoba Central to just four points while putting in 17 to claim first place.

Tishaun Mingo and Bryce Billy led Choctaw Central with 12 points each while Grant added 11 points and Demarquis Wilson scored 10 points. Gary Willis scored 14 points to lead Neshoba Central.

"They deserved to win it," Neshoba Central Coach Jerry Byrd said. "Choctaw Central took it to us. Now we need to put this behind us and get ready for our upcoming games."


The Choctaw Central Lady Warriors opened the tournament with a 60-48 win over Union.

Leading 18-15 after the first quarter, the Lady Warriors outscored Union 17-8 in the second quarter to post a 35-23 halftime lead. Union battled back in the second half but could not close the gap. Emily Shoemake led the Lady Warriors with 19 points and Lashayla McMillan added 10 points.

Neshoba Central opened the tournament with a 49-20 win over Leake Central. Leading 9-3 at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Rockets outscored the Lady Gators 9-4 in the second quarter to post an 18-7 halftime lead. The Lady Rockets put in 17 points during the third quarter and pulled away for the win. Hannah Williams led Neshoba Central with 13 while Haley Lunderman added 11 and Andria Carter scored 10.

The second quarter was the difference in Neshoba Central's win over Choctaw Central. Leading 14-11 after the first quarter, the Lady Rockets put in 12 points while holding the Lady Warriors to five and went up 26-17 at the half. Following an even third quarter, Neshoba Central outscored the Lady Warriors 19-12 in the final quarter to capture the victory.

Relissa Ray scored 12 points to lead the Lady Rockets while Danisha Marshall added 11 points. Melody Jimmie and McMillan both scored 11 points to lead the Lady Warriors.

"I'm a stickler for playing good defense and I thought we really played well in those two games in the Choctaw tournament," Neshoba Central Coach Fred Morris said. "We played a good team in Choctaw Central and we are very proud of winning the tournament. Now we are looking forward to our region schedule."