High-flying slam dunks, buzzer-beating game-winners – the Tylertown and Choctaw County contest had it all on Saturday morning at the Mississippi Coliseum.
Ultimately, it was Dralen Bearden’s lay-up with four seconds left that lifted the Tylertown Chiefs over Choctaw County 39-38.
Trailing 38-37 with 12 seconds left, Tylertown’s Jashon Baker poked the Chargers’ inbound pass away, allowing Carey Gutter to push the ball ahead to Bearden on the fastbreak. The senior completed the game-winning play with two of his game-high 22 points.
The clock ticked down and the Tylertown bench cleared.
“I looked up, when I caught the ball I looked up,” Bearden said. “I went, had like ten seconds – eight seconds – [and] went straight to the goal. We really never come here every year so it's a big thing in Tylertown for us to win this game.”
“One of our best point guards went down in the beginning of the game so we had to work hard,” said Tylertown head coach Jeremy Harrell. “And down the stretch we had to make some adjustments and those adjustments helped us in the end. To get to this point right now, it's just completely a blessing. We have one goal this year and that's work hard be a team and win the next ball game.”
Tylertown trailed for most of the fourth quarter when Ja’rule Melvin’s dunk on a Chargers defender lit a fire inside the Chiefs’ huddle and brought the Mississippi Coliseum to its feet. Melvin finished with five points and ten rebounds.
Tylertown (21-5) advances to play St. Andrew’s (25-6) in the class 3A semifinals on Wednesday at noon.