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Slow start sinks Tigers

Wilcox-Central High School built an early lead and then coasted to a 97-64 win against Greenville High School in the Class 5A, Area 5 tournament Friday night in Camden.

“We had trouble matching their scoring,” Greenville High School head coach Richard Kelly said. “They shot the ball tremendously well in the first and second quarter and they carried that momentum most of the game.”

The loss ends the Tigers’ season. Greenville finished with a 4-17 mark after winning two of its final four games.

“I don’t have one senior on this team, and that is what makes (this team’s future) so promising,” Kelly said. “These boys are fun to be around and coach.”

On Friday, the Tigers dug a hole from the start. Greenville turned the ball over on its first three possessions to help the Jaguars build an early 7-0 lead. By the close of the period, the Jaguars led 25-13. Greenville Marvin Davidson scored 10 of the Tigers’ 13 points in the period to keep Greenville in the game.

Wilcox-Central outpaced Greenville 25-8 in the second period to take a commanding 50-21 lead into the break.

“We left a lot of things out there in the first half that we needed to be able to convert on,” Kelly said. “Whenever you go on the road to Wilcox, you’ve got to be able to finish plays.”

The Tigers, who opened the second half on an 8-0 run thanks in large part to hot shooting by Kent Riley, kept pace with the Jaguars in the third period with each team scoring 21 points, but were unable to overcome Wilcox-Central’s quick start.

The Jaguars sealed the win with a 26-22 advantage in the fourth period.

“I was proud of the way Kent responded out of the half,” Kelly said. “Their early lead was just too tough to overcome.”

Davidson led the Tigers with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Riley added 14 points and eight rebounds. Matthew Craig chipped in eight points.