By Molly Seales
The Rebels and Lady Rebels spent their week of winter break in Marks, Mississippi fighting to claim state titles. Unfortunately, both teams fell short of their goal, but they played some great basketball.
On Wednesday, February 19, the Lady Rebels took care of business by defeating the Desoto Thunderbirds 61-40. Three Lady Rebels put up double digits in scoring, led by Bailey Pate with 16 points. Malea Edwards added 13, and Kenley Loftin provided a spark off the bench by scoring 11. Rylee Kate Woodard added 7, Bailee King had 6, Brooklyn Azlin and Ronda Black added 3 each. Morgan Alexander rounded out the scoring with 2 points.
The Rebels played the late game on Wednesday and defeated Delta Academy on their home court by a score of 72-54. The boys were on fire from behind the three point line. Parker Almond led all scorers with 21 points. Reagan Huddleston hit 5 3 pointers in the game plus a basket for a total of 17 points. Caden Long tossed in 4 3 pointers of his own for 12 points. Jackson Riggs added 17 points against a tough inside defense. Garrett Wilhite added 5 points to round out the scoring.
On Friday, the Lady Rebels and the Rebels played their semi final games. In a low scoring game, the Lady Rebels defeated the WCCA Lady Rams 31-22. Bailey Pate had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Malea Edwards was a huge asset again, scoring 7 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Kenley Loftin had 4 points and 7 rebounds. Rylee Kate Woodard added 3 points, and Bailee King and Morgan Alexander rounded out the scoring with 2 points each.
Later that evening, the Rebels fell short against eventual Class A state champions Humphreys Academy. They fell short 66-56 but played an amazing game. Humphreys made 71% of their shots, which put the Rebels at a disadvantage. Parker Almond again led all scorers with 23 points. Jackson Riggs had a double-double on the night with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Caden Long added 11 points, including 3 3 pointers. Reagan Huddleston added 5 points, and Denver Williams rounded out the scoring with 2.
On Saturday, the Lady Rebels faced the Briarfield Lady Rebels in the championship game. Unfortunately, they fell just a little short with a score of 47-39. They played with so much heart the entire week. Bailey Pate again led all scorers with 22 points and also pulled down 4 rebounds. Brooklyn Azlin added 5 points. Malea Edwards had 4 points and was a force under the goal, grabbing 8 rebounds. Ronda Black chipped in 4 points. Kenley Loftin had 2 points and was effective on the board, pulling down 9 rebounds. Bailee King rounded out the scoring with 2 points. They are the MSAIS Class 1A State Runner up.
Saturday night the Rebels played for 3rd place and pulled off a rematch victory against the WCCA Rams with a final score of 65-54. Parker Almond again led all scorers with 19 points and 5 rebounds. Caden Long had a great night chipping in 17 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. Reagan Huddleston had 12 points, while Jackson Riggs added 5 points and had 5 rebounds. Denver Williams, who came off the bench, was vital to the win. He scored 8 points and pulled down 8 rebounds.