CRESTVIEW — Shoal River Middle School's boys basketball team captured their second straight county championship Feb. 11 with a win over Meigs, 40-33. The top-seeded Wildcats were undefeated, winning the conference game at SRMS 49-39.
The Mustangs opened up tournament play, beating Lewis at home 54-19. The semi-final game found Shoal River hosting Bruner, with the Mustangs winning a nail-biter 45-43.
The finals had No. 1 Meigs hosting No. 2 seed Shoal River. After the first quarter, Shoal River led 8-2. Meigs stormed back with an 18-point second quarter fueled by four 3-point shots.
The Wildcats were held to 13 points in the second half.
The Mustangs led 26-23 at the end of the third quarter. Shoal River hit 8-of-9 free throws on their way to a 28 point second half.
“Someone asked what I told them during the half," Mustang coach Mitch Buckelew said. "I told our guys, 'We have to step up the defensive pressure and box out, and score. Somebody has got to score!'
"'Remember what we said before the ball game started: You’ll remember tonight. Win or lose, you’ll remember tonight.'”
The Mustangs finished the season 15-1, placing Marcus Purcell, Kia Roche and A.G. Traywick on the all-conference team.
“There were some big momentum swings in the game," Buckelew said. "Meigs played well and pressured us. Coach Tiza does a good job with them. It was a hard-fought game.
"Our guys went inside and hit some big buckets. It also helps when you hit 6-of-6 on the free throw line in the closing minutes. They have gotten better, and have to continue to improve.”
Eighth-grade players are Mondreaus Flavors, Chris Raines and A.G. Traywick. Seventh-grade players are Jack Corbin, Kennedy Gray, Coby Martin, Taurean Mays, Marcus Purcell, Kai Roche, Bobby Sanders and Jay Stanton. Terrell Holliday is a sixth-grader.