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Quitman High School Athletics

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Quitman Boys Fall to Leake Central

QUITMAN BOYS FALL TO LEAKE CENTRAL

JACKSON — All it took was one big run. Better yet two. Leake Central used two second half runs to get past Quitman 46-37 in the quarterfinals of the MHSAA Boys Class 4A playoffs on Thursday night at the Mississippi Coliseum. The Gators (28-3) will face Corinth in the semifinals on Monday night at 7 p.m. “It was a tough fight and Quitman is a good team,” said Leake Central coach Carl Wilbanks. “I didn’t think we played well in the first half and I didn’t think Quitman played in the second half. They turned the ball over and that gave us easy baskets and that is what the difference in the game.” Trailing 24-22 midway through the Leake Central went on a 9-2 run to end the quarter to take a 31-26, they would never trail from that point on. “We play better when we are up and down,” Wilbanks said. “From mid third quarter onward we played at our pace and sped the game up and I believe that threw Quitman out of their game plan.” Antonio Clark and Deon Leflore each had 11 points to lead Leake Central. Achille Tasiaux, a foreign exchange student from Belgium, and Nigel Goss added seven points each for the Gators. “Achille didn’t play his best but he made some big baskets and some big steals,” Wilbanks said. “It wasn’t pretty by no means but a win is a win at this point.” This was Leake Central’s first ever appearance in the Coliseum. “We started out slow, but we are a older group and we knew we had to pick it up when we had too and we did,” Clark said. “It is something knew for us we have never been this far before in the playoffs so hopefully we can keep it going.” Thurston McCarty had a game-high 14 points to lead Quitman, while Sayveon Bumpers added 13 points for Panthers (18-12). “They took the momentum away in the third quarter and just kept it,” said Quitman coach Chris Coleman. “We got away from the game plan and started switching screens and we normally don’t do that. Early on we got the ball into McCarty’s hands and started to force shots.” “Overall I feel like they were tougher than us,” Coleman added. “But I am proud of this team for getting this far because not a lot of people thought we would get this far.”

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