By T. Scott Boatright
CHOUDRANT — Simsboro scored the opening 10 points and never looked back Tuesday night as the Tigers topped Choudrant 90-46 in a battle of Class B powerhouses at the CHS Gym.
A jumper by Chilaydrien Newton followed by a 3-point from Shamarian Brantley put the Tigers on top 5-0 only 48 seconds into the contest.
Choudrant hit its first basket at the 5:12 mark of the first quarter as Michael Jones scored in the post, but the Tigers maintained their frantic pace the remainder of the stanza to build a 30-8 advantage heading into the second quarter.
While Simsboro’s game slowed down in the second quarter, it wasn’t by much as the Tigers led 50-19 at halftime.
Tigers coach Josh Brown was happy to see his team start strong or what he knew heading in was a good Choudrant squad.
“They’re a really good team. They’re ranked No. 5 or No. 6 for a reason,” Brown said. “Our guys focused in practice heading in on defense and not giving them looks, but when Choudrant gets hot, they can give you problems. And later on, you saw that when we did let our guard down, they made shots. (Lachlan Thompson) and (Chris Williams) are really good players.
“I was proud of our effort tonight. We had a game plan, the guys locked in and came in and played good defense.”
Both teams began going deep into their benches in the second half, with the Tigers holding a 72-37 at the end of the third quarter.
All 13 Tigers that dressed scored in the contest, led by Newton with 18 points and Nick Maryland with 17.
Jordan Crawford added 11 points for Simsboro while Kaelip Wright chipped in with 10.
“In situations like that when your opposition is so exceptionally skilled, our goal was to do everything possible to keep them in front of us, because when we played there they just dribbled around us and took it to the basket.
But the tradeoff for that is that if you do that, it opens up the 3-point shot, so credit to them for coming out and shooting the ball like they did, especially early on. When you get them on a hot night, it’s hard to get past that.”
Jones led Choudrant with 12 points while Thompson added nine for the Aggies.
Simsboro will next play at Quitman on Friday while Choudrant will play at Weston on Thursday.
Lady Aggies 58, Lady Tigers 47
CHOUDRANT — The Choudrant Lady Aggies used a late third quarter surge to pull away from Simsboro High School to earn the hard-fought District 1-1B victory at the CHS Gym.
But credit Simsboro’s Ikea Brown for doing everything she could to keep her Lady Tigers in the contest as the junior point guard scored 39 of her team’s 47 total points on the night.
Simsboro led 10-8 at the end of the third quarter and 22-20 at half thanks to Brown’s feisty performance.
But the Lady Aggies got on a run midway through the third stanza, opening up a 38-28 advantage with 3:28 remaining in the period.
Choudrant ended the quarter with a 34-31 lead, it’s biggest at that point in the contest.
Simsboro outscored Choudrant 16-14 in the final period, but that third-quarter surge proved to be the difference in the contest.
“We made a nice little run and hit some shots in the third quarter that kind of stretched it out for us,” said Lady Aggies coach Geoffrey Underwood. “And that’s what ended up winning the game for us in the long run. We were able to hold on to it..”
Underwood admitted he was just glad to see his Lady Aggies overcome Brown’s performance.
She’s fast, she beats everyone down the floor and can get to the basket on anybody,” Underwood said. “She had a great night.”
Mattie Johnson led Choudrant with 21 points while Kylee Portilloz added 17 and Aly Thomas chipped in with 15.
The Lady Tigers will next play at Quitman on Friday while Choudrant will play at Weston on Thursday as District 2-B teams wrap up regular-season play.
“Our district is tough this year, which will hopefully be good for us in the playoffs,” Underwood said. “If we can pull out a win Thursday night and maybe carry a little momentum into the playoffs, that would be great.”
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