Simsboro rolls to playoff win

By T. Scott Boatright

Many adjectives can be used to describe the Simsboro High School boys basketball team — the defending Class B state champions.

Deep might be one of the descriptions for this year’s team.

And that depth was showcased early Tuesday night as the top-seeded Tigers took control in the second quarter to roar past Pitkin 80-57 in second-round playoff action at the SHS Gym.

Simsboro led 21-13 at the end of the first quarter before heating up in the second stanza to outscore the visiting Tigers 27-9 en route to a 48-22 halftime advantage.

Senior Jordan Crawford and junior Chilaydrien “C-Bo” Newton provided the second-quarter spark for SHW, with Newton scoring 14 points in the stanza while Crawford added eight after sinking three 3-point shots and scoring 11 points in the opening eight minutes.

That kind of play left Simsboro coach Josh Brown thankful for the depth his team has.

“That’s the thing that’s special about us — we’ve got five or six guys that at any time can take over a game,” Brown said. “Tonight it was Newton and Crawford. To have that kind of group of guys is a blessing for me as a coach. C-Bo and Jordan shot the ball extremely well tonight.”

Simsboro extended its lead to 67-31 by the end of the third quarter to build an insurmountable lead for Pitkin to try and overcome.

Newton led Simsboro with 24 points on the night while Crawford added 19, Shamarian Brantley chipped in with 11 and Nick Maryland contributed 9 points.

“We came out and played well considering we’ve been off for two week,” Brown said. “We shot the ball really well and played pretty good defensively, although we did have a couple of missed assignments. But we had a really good first half, especially.”

Next up for Simsboro will be a home game against the ninth-seeded Saline Bulldogs on Friday night. 

Simsboro has already defeated Saline twice this season — 79-49 on Nov. 8 and 86-54 on Dec. 13.

“We’ve got Saline, and that’s going to be tough,” Brown said. “We’ve already beat them twice, but it’s hard to beat somebody three times in a season. We’re going to have to be ready.

“That’s two games they have behind them to think about adjusting to our athleticism and our size. Saline is very well-coached, and they’re going to come in thinking they’ve got a chance to beat us. We’re going to have to be ready to go.”

Photo: Andy Cross

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