3A STATE BASKETBALL: McGehee pulls away in fourth quarter, moves on with victory over Corning

ELKINS -- McGehee Coach T'Cambry Green watched as his team's lead disappeared three times in the third quarter, and Corning even had a chance to take the advantage.

The Owls made sure it didn't happen again. Chris Jones' jumper in the lane broke a 41-41 tie just before the third quarter ended, and McGehee got some breathing room with a short offensive spurt en route to a 60-47 first-round victory at the Class 3A boys state tournament.

"That spurt was the difference-maker," Green said. "Both teams played hard, and they were able to get some second-chance points to keep the game close. At times, I thought we should have pulled away, but later on we put together something.

"We were able to execute on the offensive end, then come back and execute on the defensive end. That's how we were able to pull away."

McGehee (26-6) never trailed after Traelyn Fitch's three-pointer to start the second quarter gave the Owls a 10-8 lead, but Corning (23-12) responded by forcing a tie on four occasions before halftime and three more times in the third quarter. The Bobcats had a chance to take the lead after Jayce Couch scored to tie the game at 41-41, only to commit a turnover.

Jones then hit his jumper with 5 seconds left to give McGehee a 43-41 lead to start the fourth quarter. The Owls stretched their advantage after Corning pulled within 44-43 on Luke Blanchard's two free throws with 7:14 remaining. McGehee hit four straight buckets, two by Fitch, for a 52-43 lead with 4:16 remaining.

Corning would get within 53-47 on Cannon Cummings' bucket with 3 minutes left, but McGehee sealed the win with seven straight points.

"That was the goal," Green said. "It had been close all game. During the game, I saw moments where we could have pulled away, but they played some good ball and rebounded well. But once we were able to get some momentum, we were able to take off and do the things we needed to do to win the game."

Ky Bell finished with 15 points to lead four players in double figures for McGehee. Jones had 14, while Fitch and Jai Hughes added 11 apiece.

Couch had 20 points for Corning, while Blanchard added 10.

Rivercrest 44, Benton Harmony Grove 34

Rivercrest used a 10-0 run in the third quarter to take the lead for good, and the Colts held off Benton Harmony Grove to claim their first-round victory.

The outburst allowed Rivercrest (29-3) to turn a four-point deficit into a 29-23 lead after Buddah Harris' bucket with 1:11 left in the third quarter. Harmony Grove (28-5) pulled within two points on two occasions early in the fourth before the Colts began to put the game out of reach.

Jayden Young finished with 15 points to lead Rivercrest, including 7 of his team's 15 points in the fourth quarter, followed by Harris and Fran Robinson with 10 apiece. Tyler McCormick and B. Matthew Bainter had 15 and 13 points, respectively, for Harmony Grove.

Osceola 76, Lake Village 50

Osceola built a 38-20 halftime lead, then rolled on to defeat Lake Village.

Maurice Washington scored 12 of his game-high 25 points in the second quarter as Osceola outscored Lake Village 24-13 to pull away. The Seminoles led by as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter.

Richard High added 20 points and Jeriyan Long 10 for Osceola. Aquavious Dunbar finished with 19 for Lake Village, followed by Rakebrien Wallace with 12.

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