The magic finally ran out.
Playing in their first division championship game in 23 years, the Southeast Lauderdale boys couldn’t finish off the title run in the 5-3A tournament in Vimville, falling 49-45 to Heidelberg on Friday.
Southeast, which completed a 4-0 season against Kemper County — a team it hadn’t beaten in eight years — on Tuesday, the Tigers then downed Choctaw Central on Thursday to reach the rare championship showdown.
There, Southeast and Heidelberg battled in a back-and-forth game that the Oilers survived.
“It’s a process,” Southeast second-year coach Centel Truman said. “I’m proud of the guys. They gave me everything they had.”
However, the Tigers were unable to overcome a slew of missed free throws and close-range shots to top Heidelberg.
Still, Southeast now hosts Collins in first-round state playoff game at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“Collins can do things athletic-wise that we just can’t really match,” Truman said. “But if we do the little things and stay focused, we should be fine.”
Despite the loss — Jawhun Malone led the Tigers with 12 points, eight coming in the first half as Southeast led 26-24 at the break before the Oilers took control with a 14-6 third-quarter edge, Truman liked what he saw in the Tigers’ postgame locker room.
“They told me when I got in there that they were not satisfied with second place,” he said. “They said they are ready to get to work Monday so they can win Tuesday.
“I tell them every year that we are going to win a state championship. And I truly believe that we are going to win a state championship. I finally think they are starting to believe it, too.”
Jonathan Tilman added 10 points.
The magic finally ran out.
Bulldogs win again, beat S. Carolina in SEC Tournament
Demarcus Henderson and Wes Rea both had RBI singles in the ninth inning to lift Mississippi State to a 5-3 win over South Carolina Wednesday night in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
The Bulldogs (42-16) loaded the bases with one out before Henderson and Rea drove in runs on consecutive at-bats for the second time in the game.
Mississippi State had beaten Missouri 2-1 in 17 innings Tuesday night, matching the longest game in SEC tournament history.
Reliever Myles Gentry (4-0) limited the Gamecocks (39-17) to a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth.
Gentry pitched 5-2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out eight.
Rea was 3 for 4 while Henderson drove in three runs.
Mississippi State led 3-0 before South Carolina tied it up in the fourth.
Max Schrock drew a bases loaded walk and Brison Celek followed with a two-run single.
Hogs top Ole Miss in SEC Tournament
For the second time this season the Rebels played an extra-inning affair with the Razorbacks, but with a different outcome as No. 21 Ole Miss (37-21) fell to No. 15 Arkansas (36-19) 2-1 in 10 innings on Wednesday.
Fundamentals leading Newton County to Jackson
In 2006, Newton County baseball won the 3A state title. Since then, they've moved up a class but haven't had much luck – until now.
Roy takes over as football head coach at Clarkdale
After nine years serving as an assistant on the Clarkdale football coaching staff, Wes Roy proudly considers himself a Bulldog. The coach has not only grown to love the team and its players, but also the Clarkdale community itself.
Bennett stays on as softball coach at Clarkdale
In one season as the interim coach for the Clarkdale softball team, Britt Bennett has gone through what most coaches go through in a career. Over the past year, Clarkdale has dealt with the death of two students, a coaching scandal and the departure of two star players.
Titles nothing new for Newton County
Newton County captured its seventh fast-pitch state championship, outscoring defending champion Houston 26-3 in two games. The Cougars took home the title despite not having a single senior on their roster –– still, few were surprised.
Embry completes 5A title sweep
In his first year coaching the Neshoba Central softball team, Trae Embry won two state titles but wouldn't take all the credit.
Morgan takes runner-up at Nationals
Meridian Community College golfer, TJ Morgan, from Bruce, MS, tied for the
individual medalist at the NJCAA D1 National Championship held in Lubbock, TX, but lost on the first hole of a playoff. TJ shot 7 under for the tournament with a 76 on the first day followed by 68, 67 and a last round 70. Aksel Olsen from Wallace State Community College won the playoff. TJ was named First Team All-American for his high finish.
MSU’s Renfroe wins Ferriss Trophy
The first time Mississippi State coach John Cohen saw Hunter Renfroe play baseball, he marveled at his natural ability.
Three years later, he's also in awe of his work ethic.
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- Bulldogs win again, beat S. Carolina in SEC Tournament