Murrah eliminates Warren Central

Published 5:27 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2019

All season long, 50 has been the magic number for Warren Central. If the Vikings can reach 50 points, coach Bruce Robinson figures, they have a pretty good chance to win.

Despite a late push, they didn’t get there Tuesday night and did not win.

Murrah held the Vikings to only 22 points through three quarters, and won 51-42 to eliminate Warren Central from the Class 6A boys state tournament.

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It was the fifth time in the last eight games that Warren Central (15-15) failed to score at least 50 points. It lost all five.

Murrah (14-9) advanced to face Region 1-6A champion Hernando (18-11) in the second round on Saturday.

The Mustangs got there by shutting down two of Warren Central’s biggest offensive weapons. Senior forward Jabari Bowman and senior guard Jalen Glass were held to four and five points, respectively. They were averaging a combined 25 points per game for the season.

Daniel Smothers stepped up to score a team-high 13 points and Chris Greene netted seven — both more than double their season average — but the Vikings still trailed 38-22 at the end of the third quarter. They rallied to outscore Murrah 19-14 in the fourth, but it wasn’t nearly enough to get back in the game.

Mason Manning led Murrah with 16 points, Jamaal Esco had 13 and Joseph Dupree scored 11.

In other first-round Class 6A games Tuesday, Northwest Rankin beat Provine 53-37; Oxford beat Horn Lake 70-66; Gulfport knocked out Ocean Springs 63-50; Harrison Central topped St. Martin 74-66; Meridian crushed Pearl 84-34; Petal beat Terry 73-61; and Southaven eliminated defending Class 6A champion Columbus.