Hinds AHS ices Coldwater at Grand Slam

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 13, 2009

JACKSON — Keeslee Stewart got a championship ring and his Hinds AHS War Dawgs a shiny gold ball for winning the Class 2A title last week.

What Stewart wanted Thursday night in the opening game of the Grand Slam Tournament, featuring the five state champions, was a better performance.

Stewart got it, totaling 19 points, nine assists and five steals in the War Dawgs’ 67-64 win over Class 1A champ Coldwater.

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“I felt I had to bounce back from last week’s game,” said Stewart, who was just 3-for-19 shooting in the 2A championship game against West Bolivar. “I knew I was capable of doing it. We wanted to win to make our school look better.”

The win advances Hinds (33-2) to today’s clash with 3A state champion Pass Christian at 2:30. The winner goes to the Grand Slam championship game on Saturday against either Callaway or Biloxi, who play tonight.

Stewart got Hinds off to a quick start by hitting his first two 3-point attempts. He ended the first quarter with eight points, three assists and two steals as the War Dawgs led 18-11.

Coldwater (25-9) used an 11-1 run to get within a point at 38-37 with 4:43 left in the third quarter.

Hinds answered with three straight baskets by 2A Tournament MVP Erik Burks to go back up by nine, at 53-44. Burks finished with 21 points and six rebounds.

Coldwater got within three points late, at 65-62, on a 3-pointer and two free throws by Dominick Major. Hinds’ Cornelius Harris and Derek Burks each hit a free throw in the final minute, though, as Hinds held on.

Major led Coldwater with 20 points and Nick Coppage had 15.


Contact Jeff Byrd at jbyrd@vicksburgpost.com.