Wildcats punch ticket to Jackson; play Baldwyn for North Half Championship

The Calhoun City Wildcats punched their ticket to Jackson with a 51-48 win over New Site Friday night.

Ladavious Draine

The Wildcats, 22-10, advanced to tonight’s 2A North Half Championship against Baldwyn. The game will be at 7 p.m. at New Site. The winner will be a number one seed in the state tournament in Jackson next Friday and play at 2:30 p.m. The loser will be a two seed and play at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

The Wildcats’ game with New Site, on the Royals home floor, was nip-and-tuck throughout. The largest lead by either team in the game was five points by Calhoun City with less than two minutes to play.

The game was tied after the first period. New Site led by two at the half and by three entering the fourth period.

Calhoun City led by one in the final 15 seconds when Austin Burl was fouled and calmly stepped to the free throw line and knocked down both shots to extend the lead to three. New Site then raced down the floor, but their desperation three pointer missed.

“Free throws and defense in the last two minutes were crucial,” Coach Daren Coffey said. “We were a bit lackadaisical early, but we really stepped it up late.”

Ladavious Draine led Calhoun City with 11 points, all coming in the first half. Andrikus Ezell and Chakel Gates each scored 10 points.

Josh Knight led New Site with 18 points.

In the post game locker room, Coffey told his team, “We enjoyed the division championship for five minutes. We’ll enjoy this for an hour, then we have to get focused on the North Half Championship.”