The Williams-Sullivan Yellowjackets had a goal of winning the Class 2A Championship when the 2012-13 season began, but after much adversity, came up two wins short with a 50-45 loss to Baldwyn at the "Big House" in Jackson on Friday night.
The Yellowjackets had been through an emotional roller coaster to get to this point – from a season-ending postseason ban put in place by the MHSAA after it was ruled that the actions of former head coach Habray Carter were too much to let his teams continue through the playoffs.
Coach Habray Carter had been issued several technical fouls over the course of the season and after being giving probation, broke the specifications of the agreement after being issued another technical.
Both the boys and girls teams, coached by Carter, were banned from the postseason and all appeared over until a special hearing in front of an MHSAA special committee overruled the original ban and allowed the Yellowjackets to participate in postseason play.
The girl’s team made a quick exit in the region tournament, but the boys continued on to a second place finish in the Class 2A South State Tournament and a berth in the State Tournament.
With their dreams within reach the Yellowjackets took an early lead over Baldwyn and led 10-8 after one quarter of play.
Shots would not fall for the Yellowjackets in the second quarter and Baldwyn outscored them 8-5 to take a 16-15 lead into the intermission.
The Yellowjackets shot just 35 percent in the first half after sinking just six of 17 field goals and one of five three-pointers.
A.J. Hollins led WSHS in scoring with six first-half points while Damarius Rockett and Kortez Wade each had six rebounds.
The third quarter was not kind to the Yellowjackets and Baldwyn outscored them once again, 16-12 to take a 32-27 lead into the fourth quarter.
WSHS fought hard in the final stanza, but Baldwyn was able to match them on every shot with both teams scoring 18 points each.
Baldwyn took the win 50-45 ending the season for the Yellowjackets.
Kortez Wade led all Yellowjackets with 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots while Damarius Rockett scored nine points, collected six rebounds with one steal and two blocks.
A. J. Hollins scored eight points and Markea Simmons scored seven.
Damarius Gypson had four steals, six rebounds and six points to round out the statistics for Williams-Sullivan who ended their season with a 27-5 overall record. “We met a very disciplined basketball team, they just didn’t make many mistakes,” said Yellowjacket head coach Willie McMillon. “We missed some opportunities that we normally capitalize on. If you look at it, we missed about seven layups which hurt us and then our shots just weren’t falling.”
The Yellowjackets were just 17 of 45 from the field on Friday night and two of 11 from three-point range.
WSHS shot just 37 percent total for the night.
“Baldwyn deserves to be there, they are a well coached, disciplined basketball team,” added McMillon. “Everything worked like we thought it would during the game, but our shots just wouldn’t fall. Normally we have a better shooting game than that. My hats off to Baldwyn, they did a tremendous job.”
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