JACKSON â€“ ÂStarkville Academy completed the triple sweep of Heritage Academy on Tuesday.
For the third time in as many weeks, the Volunteers and Patriots met on the hardwood, and for the third time Starkville Academy walked away victorious 56-41.
With the win, the Volunteers advanced forward in the AAA-Division II tournament to face the winner of the Magnolia Heights-Copiah Academy game which takes place tonight.
The win also secures Starkville Academy a spot in the AAA tournament next week at Jackson Academy.
â€śItâ€™s a big, big win for our program,â€ť Starkville Academy coach Mark Alexander said. â€śIt automatically puts us in the tournament next week and it has been a while since the Starkville Academy boys have advanced that far.
â€śAny win is big for us. This is the third time we have faced them in three weeks so we knew it was going to be a tough game. For the first part, it looked like it was going to be tight again, but we turned it up on defense and pulled it out.â€ť
Alexander was right about the game being close in the beginning. After completing the first two periods, the Volunteers only led Heritage by four points as the score stood 26-22 heading into the second half.
The tightness continued right into the third quarter as the teams were tied 30-30 about midway through, before Starkville Academy engaged in an 18-4 run to extend their lead and seal a 56-41 victory.
Leading the way for the Volunteers was Carnail Minor with 17 points, followed by Brandon Sharp and Brandon Lane who each posted 11 points.
Sharp may not have led the team, but according to Alexander, he was one of the biggest factors in Starkville Academyâ€™s victory.
â€śSharp took charge in the second half and we just jumped on board and rode his back to victory,â€ť said Alexander. â€śIn all honesty, he had one of his best games this season.â€ť
Looking forward, the Volunteers are familiar with both teams they stand to face on Friday. Earlier in the season, Starkville Academy faced both teams where they lost to Magnolia Heights by nine points, while sweeping Copiah Academy during its previous meetings.
The tip between Starkville Academy and either Magnolia Heights or Copiah Academy is set for 6 p.m. on Friday at Hillcrest Christian School in Jackson.
Starkville Academy 74,
Lee Academy 18
JACKSON â€“ The Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers turned up the defensive pressure on Clarksdale-Lee Academy Tuesday afternoon, holding the Colts to two points in the second half at the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA-Division II Tournament at Hillcrest Christian School.
The Lady Vols, who improved their overall record to 35-0, had already jumped out to a big lead of 27-3 after the first quarter, but outscored Lee 34-2 in the second half to put the game away. Both teams scored 13 points in the second quarter.
Starkville Academy outrebounded Lee Academy 42-19 and hit 23 more field goals than the Colts did. The Lady Vols shot 30-of-65 from the field.
Four of the five starters scored in double digits for SA with Maggie Proffitt leading the way with 17 points. Sallie Kate Richardson and Anna Lea Little added 12 points each and Tiffany Huddleston chipped in 10 points. Little completed a double-double with 12 rebounds.
Proffitt had five blocks and five steals, while Little and Huddleston each had five assists. Maridee Higginbotham also had five steals.
The Lady Vols, the South's No. 1 seed in the tournament, have some time to prepare for their next game as they face the winner of Heritage Academy and Hillcrest Christian on Friday at 2:15 p.m.
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