Green Wave improves to 2-0 with win over Rockets

Staff Writer

West Point found a way to defeat defending state runner-up Neshoba Central 57-54 on a night that leading scorer Austin Crowley didn’t have his best game. The Rockets jumped out to a 21-12 lead after the first quarter, en route to a 32-29 halftime advantage.

“They started out with a pretty good lead on us,” said West Point head coach Donta Yates. “They got up 12 points and we made a little bit of a run there to get back in the ball game.”

Neshoba Central held the lead throughout much of the game, but the Green Wave continued to fight back, however, tying the game at 41-41 at the end of the third quarter. West Point was able to come all the way back, winning the contest 57-54.

“Our hustle, our determination, and our heart kind of took care of us throughout the game,” said Yates.”It was a dog fight and there’s no other way to describe it.”

Michael Gibson led West Point with 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Kenwan Randle finished with 12 points, hitting four three-pointers. Jacorius Howard registered a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

“Michael Gibson played some very good defense on their post player,” Yates said. “We needed someone really strong to challenge him.”

Crowley finished the game with nine points on 4-of-13 shooting. Darrion Matthews also pitched in with nine. With Crowley having an off night from the field, it was necessary for other players to step up.

“We want everyone to understand their role and that they are as valuable to the team as the next player,” said Yates. “Everybody is going to get their opportunity, and when the opportunity presents itself, you’re going to shoot that three-pointer from the corner, you’re going to shoot that free throw, and it’s going to be on your back to get the job done.”

West Point (2-0) will travel to Starkville tonight to face the Yellow Jackets. Yates said the game would be a big test, but a great opportunity for the Green Wave.

“I’m going to continue to tell them to work hard and leave it all on the floor,” Yates said. “Starkville is one of the rivals of the Golden Triangle and I don’t think they’ve beat Starkville, from what I hear, in six years or so. It’s a big game.”