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The Green Wave ended their two week hiatus Saturday December 29 in Booneville on the campus of Northeast Mississippi Community College. West Point took on the Blue Devils of Booneville High School. The Blue Devils are the current 3-A runner-up and one of the favorites to win the 3-A state championship.
The first quarter of action was very up-tempo, Juan Davis opened up the West Point scoring knocking down a three pointer and giving the Wave an early 3-0 lead. Both teams traded baskets throughout the early minutes of play, but Booneville finally took their first lead midway through the quarter 12-10. The Blue Devil lead take-over was a part of a 12-0 Booneville run closing out the first period ahead of the Wave 22-14.
The Green Wave knew they would have to rally in the second quarter or they would fall out of contention in the game. West Point fought hard during the second period, coming back and finally retaking the lead before halftime. Outscoring Booneville 21-10, the Wave used four three-pointers from Peair Howard (1), A.J. Jones (2), and Emmanuel Moore (1). At halftime, the Wave were up and looking to hold back the Blue Devils in the second half, 35-32.
West Point came out in the second half and looked somewhat tired after such a big rally in the second period. The Blue Devils continued to push the issue, trying to claw their way back into the game. The third quarter saw three lead changes, but the Green Wave thought they might enter into the fourth leading, yet Booneville had other plans. Kenny Paul Geno hit a go ahead three and the Blue Devils entered the final period with the lead 49-47.
Losing the lead in the final seconds of third was a huge momentum blow to the Green Wave as Booneville kept on rolling during the fourth quarter. West Point ran out of gas and never could find the offensive execution to remain in the game. The Blue Devils outscored West Point 21-11 in the final quarter on their way to victory 70-58.
Leading scorers for West Point were Howard (13 points), Jones (12 points), Davis (9 points), and Moore (9 points).
â€śWe dug a hole early in the game and spent a lot of energy trying to get back into the game,â€ť commented Head Coach Brad Cox after a dissatisfying loss, â€śIn the fourth quarter, we made some mental mistakes that hurt us, and when you play a good team when it is crunch time those mistakes hurt you. I am proud with our effort though after not playing a game for two weeks.â€ť
West Point will finally return home after a December full of road games next week against Louisville. The Wave beat Louisville 72-55 in a physical game back on December 14.