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MHSAA 3A boys basketball playoffs: Magee Trojans punch ticket to Final Four for first time in 35 years

Jeremiah Cole had 25 points to lead Magee over St. Patrick in the 3A Mississippi boys basketball quarterfinals

GOODMAN — Magee's 35-year drought of reaching the Big House is over.

Behind clutch performances from Jeremiah Cole and Kendal Middleton, the Trojans held off St. Patrick 51-47 in the Quarterfinal Round of the MHSAA Boys Class 3A Basketball Playoffs Friday night at Holmes Community College’s Frank Branch Coliseum.

MORE: Mississippi Boys Basketball Friday Night Scoreboard

Magee (17-6) will face Coahoma County in the Class 3A Semifinal Round at 8 p.m. Monday night at the Mississippi Coliseum.

“Jeremiah did what he has done for us all year, and that’s lead us in scoring, being a leader and getting big baskets when we needed them," Magee coach Jarrod Milloy said. "We go as he goes. Our guys have done a good job all year effectively attacking the basket and using our athleticism.”

A big key for Magee was slowing down St. Patrick standout guard Matt Krass. The Trojans held him to just five points, and the Fighting Irish's star fouled out midway through the fourth quarter.

“The main priority was taking him away," Milloy said. "And it was a tall task. But we knew had to slow him down for us to have a chance. He is a good player, but we slowed him down enough to get the victory.”

The Trojans held on to a slim 12-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, St. Patrick’s Jack Hewes scored 14 points, hitting four three-pointers. Magee held on to a 25-24 lead at halftime.

The Trojans stretched that to 34-28 in the third quarter, but the Irish finished the period on a 10-1 run to take a 38-35 lead going into the fourth quarter.

St. Patrick led by as many as five in the fourth, but the Trojans responded with a 7-0 run, highlighted by a three-pointer by Cole and a layup by Middleton, to take a 44-42  lead with 4:29 to go. They never trailed again.

Cole had a game-high 25 points to lead Magee, while Middleton added 15 points for the Trojans.

“We came in with a chip on our shoulder because we were here last year and it wasn’t good," Cole said. "So we’ve been waiting for this moment, and it feels great to get the win. We called timeout, calmed down and started playing Magee ball and turned it around. Me and Kendal knew when we had the ball this is the moment to make big plays. This was a dream of mine to play in the coliseum and now I get that chance.”

Hewes had 21 points to lead St. Patrick. The Irish finish the season 23-8.

“They made the plays down the stretch and we didn’t,” said St. Patrick coach Keith Robinson. “We missed 7-8 free throws tonight and that’s something we don’t do. Wasn’t meant to be.”


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