BY BRADLEY CROW
The Wesson Cobras holiday tournament was spoiled in the championship round by the Hillcrest boys and Pelahatchie girls who produced wins to take home the tournament gold Saturday night.
Wesson forward Matthew Cliburn’s three point attempt from the top of the key to tie the game at the buzzer was off the front iron and short giving the victory Hillcrest and halting a ferocious Wesson rally late in the game and escape 67-64. The Wesson girls’ fate was different as they faced a hot shooting Pelahatchie Girls team and fell in the championship game 61-36.
The Cobras found themselves down by as many as 12 in the fourth quarter of the contest with Hillcrest. Great defense and some timely rebounds and blocked shots fueled the rally. The Cobras (11-4) were led by Lonnie Reeves who pumped in another solid night with 20 points. Matthew Cliburn chipped in 17 points and Josh Hart fired in another 11 to cap off the Cobras scoring. Tournament MVP Bradley Parker of Hillcrest pumped in 16 points including 3 daggers from 3 point range late in the game.
Girls tournament MVP Alexis Boyd of Pelahatchie fired in 24 points in the championship game to lead the Lady Chiefs to a 61-36 win. Ann Shelby Davis fired in 9 points for Wesson in the loss.
On Friday, the Wesson Cobras and Lady Cobras beat Natchez Cathedral in the semi-finals to advance. The Lady Cobras (10-7) whipped the Wave 57-31 being powered by Davis’ game high 21 points. The 21 point performance was delivered one night after scorching the Dexter Bulldogs for 30 points in the opening round of the tourney. Guard Macie Case had a nice evening against the Wave chipping in 14 points. Danielle Tadlock pumped in 9 points.
The Cobras outscored the Waves 24-12 in the fourth quarter of their semi-final contest to whip the Cathedral boys in the end 57-31. Cathedral’s big gun, senior Juan Gray, was placed on lockdown most of the evening by junior guard Josh Hood of the Cobras. Gray finished with 20 points, but 9 of those came from the charity stripe.
Wesson guard Lonnie Reeves pumped in all of his 17 points in the second half to lead the Cobra charge. Wesson’s double-double machine, Josh Hart, had another nice evening with 11 points and 12 boards. Charles Howard and Hood had 11 points each.
“I’m proud of our effort the entire tournament. We had some people step up at times when things were not going our way,” stated boys head coach Ron Kessler. “These guys almost came back at the end of the game and made it interesting. Matthew (Cliburn) had a great game.”
Representing Wesson on the all tournament teams were Ann Shelby Davis and Macie Case on the girls squad while Josh Hart and Lonnie Reeves represented the Cobras on the boys team.