Dollarway drops opening King Cotton game to Yazoo County, Mississippi

In the opening game of the 2019 King Cotton Holiday Classic, the Dollarway Cardinals faced off against the Yazoo County, Mississippi Panthers. In what was a close affair for majority of the game, the Panthers used a strong fourth quarter to take a 63-54 victory over the Cardinals.

The Cardinals jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead before the first media timeout. Cardinals senior forward Jvreon McGown asserted himself down low early on as he helped the Cardinals open a 15-8 lead.

Yazoo senior guard Martarious Burrell got hot from outside as he ended with 11 of their 13 first quarter points. The Panthers closed the first quarter going on an 8-2 run, but Dollarway still held a 15-13 advantage.

Burrell continued to hit the long distance shots as he knocked down his third three point shot to knot the score at 19-19 with 6:47 to play in the first half.

Yazoo County Head Coach Torrey Dale found success by pushing his team to get out in transition. The Panthers held a 25-21 lead at the media timeout. Yazoo senior Hunter Barron connected on a three pointer coming out of the timeout to push their advantage to eight.

However, Dollarway senior guard Terrance Brown would then answer by single handily going on a 5-0 run.

At halftime, Yazoo County led Dollarway 28-26.

Coming out of the break, scoring picked up for both teams as they traded a couple baskets. Yazoo began to apply full court pressure, but Dollarway countered with their press breaker and they were able to get the ball down low for easy looks.

Neither team could pull away from the other in third quarter as the game was played within a four-point span.

Yazoo closed the quarter going on a 4-0 run to take a 45-42 advantage into the fourth.

The Panthers crashed the offensive glass for second chance opportunities. After Yazoo opened up the fourth on a 6-3 run, Dollarway Coach James Jones called a timeout to try and slow down the Panthers momentum.

At the final media timeout, the Cardinals found themselves stuck in a scoring drought. With 4:51 to play in the fourth Yazoo held a 53-45 edge.

Panthers junior Lakevion Dixon was able to find creases in the middle of the Dollarway defense for high percentage shots in the lane.

Yazoo went up double digits with less than three minutes to play. The Cardinals would make a push for it behind Brown’s ability to drive by defenders but on defense they couldn’t string together enough stops to mount a comeback.

Dollarway senior Terrance Brown finished the game with a team-high 19 points. For Yazoo, Lakevion Dixon recorded 14 points, and his teammate Martarious Burrell scored a game-high 26 points.

Orr Academy advances with win over Raymond Rangers

After trailing 6-0 in the early moments of the game, the Orr Academy, Illinois Spartans gathered themselves and never looked back, downing the Raymond, Mississippi Rangers 67 to 46 at the King Cotton Holiday Classic Tournament at the Pine Bluff Convention Center Frida

Orr began to find success out of their half court sets. Their floor general, sophomore guard Leontae Lilly got their offense going. and down low, Orr used their size advantage with Marquell Crump and Demarius Splunge as they were able to control the paint.

After the first quarter, Orr led Raymond 10-9.

Orr ultimatley went on a 14-4 run to take a four-point lead into the second quarter media timeout.

Spartans senior William Thomas drilled a corner three that was followed directly by a transition dunk by Splunge to give them a 21-10 lead, forcing Raymond into a timeout.

Splunge consistently enforced his will down low, and on defensive, Orr continuously cleaned up the glass only allowing Raymond to one shot attempt per possession.

However, Raymond closes on small run to make it a single digit game at half with Orr leading 23-15.

After Raymond cut it to six, senior Bryce Hall hits a trey for Orr that was followed by a transition layup by junior Norvell Meadows.

Hall picked up two first quarter fouls that forced him to sit for majority of the first half, but he didn’t let that affect how he would perform in the second half. Hall scored three consecutive buckets to help maintain a double digit lead for Orr.

Splunge then wowed the crowd with a strong slam dunk at the end of the third quarter and Orr took a 46-31 lead into the fourth.

Hall continued to be active on offense and defense, while Raymond had a tough time converting on the offensive end.

It was Orr’s suffocating defense that made it hard for Raymond to get anything easy, and they kept them out of transition.

Behind Bryce Hall’s game-high 20 points, and a 17 point, 12 rebound double-double for Demarius Splunge the Spartans advanced in the winner’s bracket of the National Division.

Jacksonville edges Wooddale 75-72

In a tightly contested game, the Jacksonville, Arkansas Titans outlasted the Wooddale, Tennessee Cardinals in the first round of the King Cotton Holiday Classic National Division bracket.

Titans standout senior guard Devonte ‘Devo’ Davis, who has signed to play with the Arkansas Razorbacks, showed why he’s a top three player in the state by commanding the game and willing his team to a win.

Both teams got off to a good start on the offensive end. The back court of Davis and sophomore Christian Moore provided the early punch for Head Coach Victor Joyners’ Titans.

Their counterpart for Wooddale was junior forward Johnathan Lawson, who holds offers from the likes of Kansas University and the University of Memphis. Back to back three point shots by Lawson and senior guard Jonathan Duncan gave Wooddale breathing room. Wooddale closed the first quarter on a 10-2 run to take a 23-15 lead into the second quarter.

Davis showcased his ability to drive the lane through traffic with ease as he sparked a 6-0 run by the Titans. At the under-five media timeout, Wooddale held a 27-26 lead after Jacksonville’s Jordan Maxwell recorded a dunk to help turn the momentum in the Titan’s favor.

Coming out of that timeout, the Cardinals attacked the rim aggressively instead of settling for jump shots. Wooddale senior guard Jalen Brown began to establish himself as a slashing threat. On a penetrate and kick-out, Duncan knocked down his third triple of the game to give Wooddale a 36-28 advantage forcing Joyner into a timeout with 2:55 to play in the first half.

As the Titans were packing the lane, Brown was found open for a trey that opened up the first double digit deficit of the game.

At halftime, Jacksonville trailed Wooddale 43-34.

To start the second half, the Titans stiffened up on the defensive end, and on offense they went on a 7-0 scoring run.

Wooddale Head Coach Keelon Lawson decided to double-team Davis, but he made them pay by finding an open man for wide open looks. He also kept looking to score, and drove the lane as he knotted the score at 55-55. forcing Coach Lawson into calling a timeout.

The Titans controlled the third quarter on both ends of the court. Jonathan Lawson was benched for majority of the third quarter, due to foul trouble.

Both teams didn’t budge much in the first couple of minutes in the final quarter. After that elongated stay on the bench, Johnathan Lawson was determined to take over on offense for Wooddale.

With under four minutes to play, Lawson converted a layup plus the foul shot to extend Wooddale’s lead to 70-66.

Moore would then come up huge for the Titans by single handily going on a 5-0 run to put them back ahead.

Lawson then made another tough layup attempt over a couple defenders, then came down on defense and recorded a block with the ball going out of bounds off a Jacksonville player.

Down by a point with 15.6 to play, Jacksonville went to Davis and he drove the lane, initially missed, but followed his shot for a put back to put Jacksonville up one with 4.9 to play.

Wooddale had to attempt to advance the ball the full length of the court for a game winning shot, but Davis intercepted a pass and drove to the basket to seal the deal with a layup.

For Wooddale, Lawson scored a game-high 33 points. Davis scored a team-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Titans.

Pine Bluff drops opener in King Cotton Holiday Classic

The Pine Bluff Zebras took on the Ft. Bend, Texas Hightower Hurricanes in the second game of Regional Division play on opening night of the 2019 King Cotton Holiday Classic Friday.

Hightower, led by Head Coach Stephen Woods led from start to finish as they defeated Pine Bluff by a final of 79-63.

Hurricanes highly touted sophomore guard Bryce Griggs was as advertised. Griggs entered the tournament with offers from Houston, Texas A&M, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech.

“I just let the game come to me,” Griggs said. “The shots I take, I work on. I start off getting my teammates involved, and then my game opens up. That’s what I care about, not only scoring, but also getting everybody involved.”

The Zebras may have been outmatched in the talent category, but there were some positives they took from the game.

Pine Bluff, led by Head Coach Billy Dixon quickly got down by double-digits, and instead of completely folding, they continued to fight. Pine Bluff out-rebounded Hightower 36-30, and the Zebras shot %44 from the field.

Pine Bluff freshman Jordan Harris, and junior Jalen Tatum both scored 10 points to serve as their leading scorers.

Griggs finished with a game-high 23 points while dishing out five assists.

Woods spoke highly about Griggs prior to game.

“I seen this quote on Twitter, and it was Gilbet Arenas, agent zero,” Woods said. “He said are you more afraid of a pit-bull roaming the street, or are you more afraid of a pit-bull with his owner on a leash roaming the streets. So, he’s a pit-bull and I’m not going to hold him back. My job as a coach is to give us organization and he plays out of that.”

Centennial downs Bryant in King Cotton Classic

A matchup between Arkansas powerhouse the Bryant Hornets and the California based Centennial Huskies went the Huskies way Friday as they downed Bryant 61-52-

Centennial started the game shooting lights out with three consecutive triples by three different players. Junior guard Paris Dawson spearheaded the attack, collecting three treys in the first quarter to help open a 15-3 lead for Centennial.

Hornets senior guard Treylon Payne broke the scoring drought for the Hornets, but that would be one of their only two baskets in the first quarter. Paris hit his fourth three of the first quarter to give Centennial an 18-5 advantage after quarter one.

For the Hornets, Payne and junior guard Camren Hunter began to settle in and they chipped away at the deficit. Along with the back court tandem, senior forward Catrell Wallace became a presence down low for Bryant. The Hornets strung together an 8-0 run to pull within single digits.

Hunter ended the first half with a buzzer beating layup. What was most important for Bryant was the fact that their defensive intensity picked up and they were able to force the Huskies into turnovers. Bryant outscored Centennial 16-9 to make it 27-21 at halftime.

The Huskies started the second half similar to their first quarter start. A 7-0 run capped off by Dawson’s fifth three pointer of the game allowed Centennial to open up a 13 point lead.

Bryant would answer with a couple of deep three pointers, but the Huskies responded with a couple of their own to keep the Hornets at bay heading into the fourth quarter.

In the beginning of the final period the Hornets decided to drive the ball strong to hoop to get a lay up or get to the foul line for free throw attempts. With 5:26 to play, Bryant had cut Centennial’s lead to 10. Turnovers committed by the Huskies allowed Bryant to hang around.

A much needed triple by Bryant senior guard Aiden Adams cut it to seven, and the Hornets continued to put a full court press the Huskies.

However, Dawson came up big with a bucket to push their lead back to double digits with under two minutes to play.

The Hornets made one last push, but Centennial iced it away at the free throw line to advance in the winners bracket of the National Division.

Bryant’s Treylon Payne finished with a game-high 23 points. Centennial’s Paris Dawson scored a team-high 22 points.