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Canton gets 'Big House' redemption with 64-44 win over Wayne County in MHSAA 5A Semifinal

After falling in last year's semifinal matchup, the Tigers roared back into the Big House Tuesday night
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Deandre Lewis and his Canton Tiger teammates didn’t want to leave the Mississippi Coliseum with the same feeling they had a year ago.

After falling in the semifinal round last season to Hattiesburg, Canton came back with a vengeance Tuesday. The Tigers raced past Wayne County 64-44 and punched their ticket to the MHSAA Boys Class 5A Basketball Championship.

The Tigers (26-4) will face rival Yazoo City at 8 p.m. Friday night.

“We started the game off with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity," Canton coach Brian Townsend said. "And we live to fight for another game. Deandre knows his role, and that’s to lead us on both ends. We did good job on the defensive end of making things difficult for them.”

The first quarter was back-and-forth, as the Tigers held a 15-9 lead at the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, the Tigers began to pull away as Canton opened the quarter on a 14-0 run to extend their lead to 29-9 and the War Eagles (23-6) were forced to play catch-up the rest of the night.

Canton held a comfortable 36-15 halftime lead. They stretched it out to 51-32 in the third quarter to put the game completely out of reach.

Now, the Tigers are on to a third meeting with their Region 2-5A rivals. The two teams split the previous matchups in the regular season.

“Yazoo has a great coach, a great team," Townsend said. "They’re very well prepared and they make adjustments well. We've got to go back to the drawing board and come out with some different things and make sure to try to throw them off, because they’re going to do the same thing.”

Lewis had a game-high 21 points to lead Canton, while Jamarion Fleming and Joshua Brown added 13 points for the Tigers.

“We came out with a lot of energy from the time we left the school to hear and everything just clicked,” Lewis said. “Last year, we lost in this game, and it hurt. That drove us all season to get back here. We all know what’s at stake on Friday, we know each other well and it’s going to be a high-intensity game.”

Rashodrick Harris had 15 points to lead Wayne County, while Sadarrius Harris added 11 points for the War Eagles.

“Canton has a great team and we got ourselves in a hole early," said Wayne County coach Robby Walters. "Against a team like that, it was very difficult and we were a little overmatched playing from behind. I'm proud of the guys for fighting and playing hard.”