The Cleveland Central Wolves were on top of the Canton High School Tigers 39-23 at halftime Friday night here at the Lloyd Clark Court at the Walter Sillers Coliseum in the Region 3-5A boys consolation game.
The Wolves dominated the first half, but the Tigers used full-court pressure defense and efficient three-point shooting in the second half to push the game into overtime where the Wolves managed to pull off the win 64-63.
The Wolves, 17-12, will now travel to play Vicksburg High School at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the 5A State Playoffs.
Wolves head coach Bernard Berryhill said the game was different for the team, but he was proud of how they weathered the storm and fought back to get the win.
“This playoff atmosphere, win or go home, was new to this group and we let the moment get the best of us,” said Berryhill.
“We didn’t focus, and their defensive pressure increased, but we eventually settled down, showed some resilience, and we live to play again,” he added.
Jamal Anderson made a huge block on a Canton layup. With 29 seconds remaining in regulation, Anderson was fouled and nailed a free throw to tie the game at 58-58.
Following a defensive stop, the Wolves had a chance to go ahead with two seconds left in the game when Leroy Cotton III was fouled. Cotton missed both free throws and Canton’s last second heave fell short to send the game into overtime.
In OT, the Tigers made the right moves to take a 63-60 advantage, but the Wolves didn’t surrender. Anderson scored a layup for a 63-62 ball game, and the Wolves fouled a Canton player who missed the front end of the one-and-one. Cleveland Central rebounded the ball with a chance to win.
With 14 seconds remaining in OT, Cotton was fouled, but this time the senior came through in the clutch and knocked down both free throws for a 64-63 lead. The Wolves’ defense forced a turnover to close out the game.
Anderson led the way with 21 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Tajiri Hope with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Josh Kirkham with 10 points and four assists, Leroy Cotton III, with seven points, three rebounds and three assists and Marcus Franklin with six points and nine rebounds.
Canton Girls 51, CCHS 38
The Cleveland High School Lady Wolves saw their year come to an end as they lost to the Canton High School Lady Tigers Friday in the consolation game of the Region 3-5A Girls Basketball Tournament at the Lloyd Clark Court at the Walter Sillers Coliseum.
The Lady Wolves concluded their season at 18-12.