MHSAA 2A Championship: Newton falls short in first title game since 2008

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 11:19 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WTOK) - The Newton Tigers knew it was going to be tough going up against Coahoma County in Friday’s MHSAA 2A State Championship.

The Panthers have claimed three of the last four 2A state titles and were looking to make it back-to-back for the first time since the 2017 and 2018 season.

Coahoma County jumped out to a 13-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Midway through the second quarter, Newton’s offense came alive and went on a 12-0 run to take a 22-15 lead.

Just when the Tigers were starting to feel comfortable, the Panthers punched them in the mouth by going on a 9-0 run that gave them a 24-22 lead at halftime.

While Newton only trailed by two at the break, the second half would prove to be rough for the Tigers.

Newton’s Jabez Blaylock opened up the third quarter with a jumper to tie the game at 24-24. After that, the Tigers’ shooting went cold. They added one more 3-pointer in the period to trail Coahoma County 32-37 entering the final frame.

With 2:21 left to play, Coahoma County had taken a 44-35 lead. In the final minute of the game Newton went on a slight run, but the effort would not be enough.

Newton lost 46-40 to Coahoma County and watched as the Panthers celebrated winning back-to-back state titles.

“First of all, hats off to Coahoma County,” Newton coach Crandal Porter said. “They have been here five years in a row. I knew they were seasoned. It seemed at times the moment was too big for us.”

Coahoma County’s Tylin Martin scored a game-high 16 points and was named the game’s most valuable player.

Newton shot 30.2% from the floor and 15.4% from 3-point range in the contest. Jabez Blaylock was the Tigers’ leading scorer with nine points.

The Tigers end the 2020-21 season with a 15-5 overall record.

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