Rangers Clinch First State, Region Tournament Berth Since 06-07
February 21, 2012By Kevin Maloney of NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI COMMUNITY COLLEGE
SENATOBIA – Behind freshman DeMarcus McVay's 14 points and career-high 17 rebounds and three other Rangers in double figures, Northwest clinched a spot in this year's state and region tournaments in an 85-66 blowout win over Coahoma. | Box Score
Northwest swept the season series in improving to 12-9 overall and 7-4 in the north and have secured at worst the north's No. 3 seed for the state tournament. With a win at Mississippi Delta on Thursday, the Rangers will earn the No. 2 seed.
It marks their first appearance in the postseason since 2006-07 and first under head coach Jimmy Adams.
The Rangers came out flat in the early going and Coahoma built a 16-9 lead thanks to back-to-back 3s by Stanley Haywood and a big dunk from Alex Thompson.
Adams pulled all five starters to make a statement with the slow start, and Northwest responded with a 12-2 run over the ensuing 4:22 to take a 21-18 lead.
Tied for a fifth time in the first half, McVay hit consecutive buckets off a pair of Everick Morris assists to give Northwest a 36-33 lead at intermission.
Northwest opened the second half with some emotion and quickly built a double digit lead. The Rangers outscored Coahoma 12-2 the opening 1:56 and went ahead 48-35.
Coahoma would get no closer than eight points the final 18 minutes as Northwest piled it on.
Bernard Jones' back-to-back 3s and Chris Kelley's layup put the finishing touches on a 19-point win, the Rangers' ninth in the last 11 games.
K. Jones closed the night with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting, followed by 14 from McVay, 12 from Domonique Harris and 11 from Jordan Hulsey. Morris pumped in his second game with double digit assists, dishing out 10 against four turnovers, while Kendrick Moore added five points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench.
Northwest will close out the regular season on Thursday at Delta (7-14, 1-10 north), with tipoff set for 8 p.m.