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McComb powers past Greenwood, into MHSAA 4A Championship

The Tigers built a big first-half lead and held on to punch their ticket to the 2024 MHSAA Championship

The McComb Tigers are heading back to the Class 4A state title game for the first time since 2016.

Behind a balanced offensive attack, the Tigers got past Greenwood 57-49 in the Semifinal Round of the MHSAA Boys Class 4A Basketball playoffs at the Mississippi Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon.

The Tigers (21-8) will face the Raymond Rangers for the Class 4A State Championship at noon on Saturday.

MORE: MHSAA Class 4A Boys Basketball Tournament Bracket

“We controlled the first half," McComb coach Karshae Peterson said. "But we got relaxed in the second half. One thing about our group is we can finish the ball game. We were able to buckle down on defense and get some turnovers and stops.”

McComb jumped out to a 13-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, and extended its lead out to 29-13 by halftime.

Greenwood (24-6) responded in the third quarter, as the Bulldogs cut the Tigers' lead down to five — at 36-31 — with 4:31 remaining, but McComb put together a quick 5-0 run to end the period to take a 41-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

In the final period, every time Greenwood cut into the McComb lead, the Tigers had an answer.

“We knew coming into this one that they had a big man, so my big guys picked it up,” Peterson said. “Defense and our big guys playing big is what we do, and that’s something that we’re not going to change. We’re going to do what we do no matter who we play Saturday.

Antione Johnson had 13 points to lead McComb, while Jaylin Nunnery added 12 points and Mississippi State football signee Sanfrisco Magee had 10 points for the Tigers.

“We stepped up big," McComb's Jamarcus Pittman said. "We just make plays and give it all we have for 32 minutes. We had to put our big boy pants on and we did. We’ve been talking about playing for a state championship since the eighth grade, and now we finally get to do it.”

James Holmes had a game-high 18 points to lead Greenwood, while Joseph Warren added 15 points for Bulldogs.