• 54°
franklin county times

The man' returns for State Games gold

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
June 18, 2001
Brandon Miller was "The Man" in Meridian High School's Turnage Gymnasium during the 1980s.
And although Miller admitted he wasn't necessarily in the best of shape late Saturday night, he and his VIP teammates were once again the cream of the crop at MHS.
Miller scored a game-high 27 points in the championship game, leading VIP to the gold medal of the State Games of Mississippi 2001 adult basketball competition with a 64-61 win over Avery Dennison Showtime.
VIP, which also got 13 points from Mike McDonald and 11 from Bo Grace in the championship game, went unbeaten through the eight-team, double-elimination bracket. Avery Dennison settled for the silver medal, while County was awarded the bronze medal.
In the championship game, VIP held a 30-29 lead after a seesaw first half, but early in the second 20-minute half, it appeared Avery Showtime had the momentum behind the sweet shooting of Terry Thames.
Thames hit back-to-back three-pointers and scored eight points during an Avery run that put Showtime ahead 42-38 seven minutes into the second half.
VIP answered behind Miller, whose four-point play (a three-pointer, foul and free throw) capped a 10-2 run to put his team on track to win the gold.
Avery tied the game once more at 53-53 on a putback by Alex Wilson, but VIP never trailed again. Trailing by three, Avery got possession on a jump ball with 5.9 seconds remaining, but could not get off a shot.
Thames and Wilson finished with 19 points apiece for Avery Dennison, while Cedric Mitchell scored nine points.
Avery Dennison, which lost 51-46 to VIP in its first game of the day, won four straight losers' bracket contests to get back to the championship round.
Here's a recap of the other games which were finished after press time Saturday night:
Avery Dennison Showtime staved off elimination for the third time and assured itself of a medal with an easy 77-42 win over the Midnight Stars.
Anthony Little pumped in a game-high 17 points to lead Showtime, while Mitchell scored 13 and Thames had 12.
Avery Dennison Showtime then eliminated County in a 72-71 overtime thriller when Thames' putback, foul and free throw in the closing seconds provided the winning points.
Thames finished and Mitchell finished with 18 points apiece as Showtime made County settle for the bronze medal, while Little was also in double figures with 13 points.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@themeridianstar.com.