Leading 38-22 at halftime, East Side was in control, but the Tigers would not quit. With senior sharpshooter Kondarius Phillips leading the way, the Tigers were able to get back in the game, before eventually lost 69-59. East Side improved to 13-3 with a 2-1 mark in the region, while Ruleville fell to 8-9 with a 1-3 mark in the region.
"Not taking anything away from Ruleville because they hit some big shots,” East Side head coach Leroy Cotton said. “Phillips and Tyquan Rule came through for them down the stretch. We didn’t help ourselves out with the turnovers we made and it was a tale of two halves. We executed so well in the first half and then comeback in the second half and was sloppy with the basketball and that kind of hurt us.”
Ruleville head coach James Trimble said he was disappointed in the way the team started the game, but was proud of the way they fought back.
"We weren't moving our feet on defense early,” Trimble said. “After halftime we came back and dug ourselves out of the hole. If we can put two halves together we are going to be really good. Right now, I'm impressed with the guys, but we have to learn how to close games.”
In the fourth quarter, East Side led 58-48, but Ruleville was able to cut into the lead as the Tigers took advantage of some Trojan turnovers. A 9-0 run by the Tigers, all off East Side turnovers, closed the gap to 58-57 with 3:35 left in the game.
A missed shot by Clarence Stewart gave the ball back to Ruleville, but Chris Montgomery's shot and Anthony Spivey's rebound and put-back missed to give East Side the ball back.
With the possession, Charles Jackson found Bobby Jones, Jr. for an easy lay-up to give the Trojans a 60-57 lead.
Ruleville missed its next shot, but good defense from Spivey resulted in a steal and break-a-way dunk with 2:07 remaining in the contest for a 60-59 game with under two minutes left to play.
The Tigers were able to get another turnover, but two rushed shots gave the ball back to East Side. The Trojans were able to run off from the Tigers as Jackson hit two free throws and off a turnover from Phillips on an attempted alley-oop play Stewart was fouled and made one free throw for a 63-59 lead.
A steal by the Trojans and an emphatic baseline dunk from John Paul Davis, which also included a foul, and a technical foul after the play gave the Trojans a 68-59 lead. Jackson added another free throw to give the Trojans a 69-59 final.
Jackson led the Trojans with 16 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, followed by Davis with 19 points and seven rebounds, Jones, Jr. with 12 points and Stewart with 10 points.
Phillips led all scorers with 25 points, followed by Rule with 13 points and Spivey and Montgomery with eight points each.