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Central Private too tough for Raiders

By By Austin Bishop/Special To The Star
Feb. 10, 2001
GALLMAN Lamar School didn't back down from the challenge of playing the top-ranked basketball team in the MPSA on Friday night, but in the end Central Private School just had too many big guns for the Raiders.
One person in particular who shot the ball well for the Rebels was Shane Ash. The 6-foot-3 senior knocked down 10 3-pointers, including five in a row in the first half, to lead Central Private to the 88-62 win in the semifinals of the MPSA AAA South State Tournament being played at Copiah Academy.
Ash finished the night with 38 points, scoring 22 of those in the first half as Central Private rolled out to a 53-29 lead at the break.
Central Private now moves on to battle Manchester at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the finals of the event, while Lamar faces Silliman (La.) Institute at 6 p.m. in the third-place game. Manchester defeated Silliman 71-52 on Friday.
Although Central Private pretty much dominated the game throughout, the Raiders played well at times. In fact, Yates thought his squad played much better than it did in a 20-point first-round win on Wednesday night.
The Raiders hung tough over the first five minutes of the game, with Central holding a narrow 12-8 lead. But Ash began to find his range and the Rebels stretched it to 25-13 at the end of the first quarter.
The winners, who have lost just once this season, outscored the Raiders 28-16 in the second quarter to go up by 24 at the half.
Ash wasn't the only big gun the Rebels had. Junior Randall Gulina scored 25 points, with 17 of those coming in the first half.
The Rebels hit 15 3-pointers in the game on 37 attempts. "The way they can shoot the 3-pointer, it is going to be hard for anybody to guard them," Yates said.
Jared McKee had a big night for Lamar, scoring 23 points on 10-for-12 shooting from the floor, and pulling down 15 rebounds.
Justin Brewer was 6-for-8 from the floor for the Raiders on the way to a 14-point night, while Dusty Jones scored 12 points. Sam Eakes led Lamar with 17 rebounds.
Silliman is a familiar foe for the Raiders. In each of the last two seasons it has been the Wildcats who have ended the season for Lamar, beating the Raiders in the first-round of South State each time.
Yates said tonight's game is a big one for his squad.
The loss to Central Private dropped Lamar to 10-20 on the season.