Flashes advance at district tournament

Published 8:05 am Friday, February 10, 2017

The first time the St. Aloysius Flashes played Riverfield Academy this season, they missed a game-winning shot in the final seconds.

They got it right the second time around.

James Trichell’s basket with 4.6 seconds remaining gave St. Al a 36-34 victory over Riverfield in the first round of the District 3-AAA boys’ basketball tournament on Thursday. Riverfield had a chance to tie it up, but missed a shot at the buzzer.

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It was a flip-flop of the teams’ first meeting in Vicksburg in December, when Riverfield scored with less than 20 seconds to go and St. Al missed a potential game-winner and lost 55-54.

“It’s good to be on the other side for a change,” St. Al coach Eddie Pickle said.

Trichell finished with eight points for St. Al (9-12), while Jaylen Whitaker had nine points and nine rebounds. Tyler Lewis added seven points and Antonio Thompson had eight rebounds.

St. Al blew a 13-point halftime lead, but survived and extended its season for at least another week. It will play Hartfield Academy in the district tournament semifinals Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Manchester Academy, and also clinched a berth in next week’s Class AAA North State tournament.

The North State tournament is at Leake Academy.

Depending on the outcome of Friday’s game, St. Al will also play in either a consolation game or the district tournament championship game on Saturday.

“It feels good for these guys to get this win,” Pickle said. “They have worked so hard this year. I am happy to see them see the fruits of their efforts.”

Zach Carnegie and Kaleb Clark led Riverfield with seven points apiece. Matthew Weems, who scored 19 and 25 points in the two regular-season meetings with St. Al, only scored five on Thursday.

“James (Trichell), Thomas Trichell and Phillip Upshaw shut him down,” Pickle said.

In the first round of the girls’ bracket, St. Aloysius saw its season end with a 56-30 loss to Hartfield Academy.

The Lady Flashes finished their season with a 3-18 record.