Yazoo County gets by Pine Bluff Saturday in King Cotton Classic

The Yazoo County, Mississippi Panthers improved to 2-0 in the King Cotton Holiday Classic with a 64-55 win over the Pine Bluff Zebras Saturday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Yazoo County and Pine Bluff began the game going back and forward before the Panthers closed the first quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 14-8 advantage into quarter two.

The Zebras stopped the bleeding with a bucket down low by freshman big man Jordan Harris that was followed by a break away layup by Logan Smith. Yazoo wanted to push the ball but Pine Bluff countered by getting back and making them play in the half court.

Pine Bluff’s two big men Harris and senior Xavier Turner had a size advantage over the frontcourt of Yazoo but Yazoo had an advantage in the backcourt with senior Martarious Burrell running their offense.

Just as Pine Bluff took a lead, the Panthers regained it as Harris and Turner went to the bench.

Yazoo took a 28-23 lead into halftime.

Coming out of halftime Martarious Burrell showcased his long range to give Yazoo their biggest lead of the game up to that point at eight.

Yazoo never let Pine Bluff gain ground by answering their baskets with baskets of their own.

Panthers junior guard Kejuan Frierson beat the buzzer with a runner in the lane to put them up 46-39.

Pine Bluff Head Coach Billy Dixon emphasized getting the ball in the paint so the Zebras could use their size advantage to help chip away at the lead but Burrell’s ability to get by his defenders throughout the game, and especially late in the fourth quarter allowed the Panthers to maintain their lead.

Harris and Turner combined for 26 points while Burrell scored a game-high 25 points to help Yazoo stay unbeaten in the Regional Division. Pine Bluff dropped to 0-2 in the tournament which ends Monday.

Parkview falls to Raymond Rangers 73-69

After suffering first round loses in the National Division bracket on the opening day of the 2019 King Cotton Classic, the Little Rock Parkview Patriots and the Raymond, Mississippi High School Rangers squared off in the loser’s bracket for the first game of day two Saturday.

Neither team wanted to fall to 0-2 in tournament play, so much that it had to be decided in overtime, but Raymond ultimately came out on top of Parkview by a final of 73-69.

The Patriots, led by Head Coach Scotty Thurman got themselves going early by recording two steals that led to points. After losing to the NSU University Sharks late Friday night, the Patriots came out playing with an assertive level of energy. Parkview sophomore big man Cameron Wallace made the Rangers feel his presence in the paint throughout the game as he matched up well with Raymond’s size down low.

Parkview came out playing a clean game on both ends, while the Rangers weren’t able to settle in on either side of the court. After one quarter of play Parkview led Raymond 20-9.

Raymond opened the second quarter scoring five straight points to keep Parkview from running away with it early. Raymond sophomore Jabarie Robinson started to get good looks in the lane, and on three consecutive possessions he scored twice and assisted on another basket.

The defense by the Rangers improved from the first quarter as things weren’t coming as easy for Parkview anymore. In the second quarter, Raymond outscored the Patriots 20-14, but Parkview still managed to take a 34-29 advantage into halftime.

Coming out of intermission, both teams made noticeable adjustments, and the scoring slowed down.

Wallace closed the third with three big plays by getting to the free throw line twice and converting on a put back to keep Parkview ahead.

At the final media timeout of regulation, Parkview led by eight, and in order to make a push Raymond Head Coach Tony Tadlock decided to apply a full court press that turned the tide of the game.

Raymond went on a 12-2 run to take their first lead of the game.

Wallace did all he could do for Parkview down the stretch. However, with every basket made by Parkview there was a response by Raymond.

Both teams made plays in the final minute, but it was Raymond who forced overtime with a layup by Robinson to make it 63-63 heading into overtime.

The Patriots and Rangers traded baskets to open the extra period. It was a back and forward affair throughout overtime until Raymond made the game defying plays on defense.

Raymond forced a turnover with :15 seconds to play and that forced Parkview to foul. The Rangers then got a steal and a fast break layup to seal the deal.

Cameron Wallace finished with a game-high 27 points for Parkview.

Jabarie Robinson led Raymond with a team-high 25 points.