Derrick Moore, Jr. wanted to go out in style.
Well he and his Coahoma County teammates did just that.
With a strong start in the first quarter the Red Panthers were able to get past Bay Springs 62-46 to repeat as MHSAA Boys Class 2A champions at the Mississippi Coliseum on Friday afternoon.
It is the Red Panther fourth state title in school history and second time to win back to back state championships.
“This one was more emotional than the first one with it being my last game coaching my son,” said Coahoma County coach Derrick Moore, Sr. “Last time he told me he wasn’t coming back home without a win, so he played his butt off to get this one.”
Derrick Moore, Jr. would finish the game with eight points and six rebounds in his final game in a Coahoma County uniform.
“Going into this one I knew this was my last high school basketball game and possibly last game period so I just had to leave it all out there,” Moore, Jr. said. “I had nothing to lose, so just had to give it all I had and to do win two with my father as my coach is nothing but sweet.”
The Red Panthers would race out to a 16-2 lead over Bay Springs at the end of the first quarter and would never look back.
Markevius Phillips would have 16 points to lead Coahoma County, while Jai’sheldon Yates added 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Bentavious Galmore chipped in 10 points for the Panthers (29-4).
“We came out focused and ready to play and I think the first quarter kind of shocked Bay Springs,” Moore, Sr. said. “We didn’t have to press on defense to force turnovers and that was huge for us. Markevius has one speed and it is non-stop so its hard for people to stop because he can go.”
Now Moore, Sr. is focusing getting back to Jackson to try to three-peat.
“We lose three guys, so got majority of our roster back,” he said. “If can stay focus and healthy we will be down here again.”
Kevin Grimes had a game-high 19 points to lead Bay Springs, while Anthony Wheaton added 16 points for Bulldogs (26-4).