Upsets headline adult basketball tournament
JUMPING n County player Michael Pierce, 11, takes a jump shot against Trustmark's Philip Culpepper, right. County won the game, 78-64. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
June 17, 2001
First-year State Games of Mississippi adult basketball commissioner Neal Henry felt sure the defending gold medal champion Warriors would bring their loaded lineup back to Meridian High School for this year's competition.
They didn't, meaning one of the four squads still alive at press time Saturday night will walk off with this year's gold.
One of those teams, Meridian's own VIP, was the only undefeated squad remaining in the men's open division an eight-team, double-elimination tournament.
VIP started its day with a 51-46 win over the Avery Dennison Showtime, putting three players in double figures in the victory. They followed that up with a 66-65 win over Foot Action, using a bevy of 10 three-pointers.
The hot-shooting from the outside continued in the winners' bracket final, as VIP knocked off County 85-78 behind 11 three-pointers.
Brandon Miller and Bo Grace knocked down five three-pointers apiece, with Miller tossing in a game-high 29 points and Grace throwing in 23.
Late Saturday night, VIP was awaiting the survivor from the losers' bracket that still included County, the Midnight Stars and the Avery Dennison Showtime.
County was assured a bronze medal, while VIP can do no worse than a silver, even if it loses both games in the championship round.
Here's a brief look at Saturday's other scores:
County, a local squad from the Heidelberg area, knocked off the Midnight Stars 67-48;
Trustmark got 21 points from Steve Edwards in a 61-57 win over No Fear;
Avery Dennison got 16 points from Terry Thames and 13 more from Anthony Little in a 64-44 decision that eliminated No Fear;
The Midnight Stars knocked off No Fear 65-59 in a losers' bracket game;
County put three players in double figures and beat Trustmark 76-57 in a losers' bracket game despite 16 points from Edwards;
The Midnight Stars got seven three-pointers and a game-high 27 points from Will Miles as they eliminated Trustmark with a 66-46 win; and
Avery Dennison eliminated Foot Action 71-67 behind 19 points apiece from Thames and Little.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.