As a first year head coach Tony Tadlock knew what he was getting into.
“When we got the job in May the seniors told me they were going to buy in to what you want us to,” he said.
And on Thursday night they lifted a gold ball.
With a stellar performance from Shardarrion Allen and big fourth quarter the Rangers got past Corinth 64-52 to claim the MHSAA Boys Class 4A state championship for the second consecutive year at the Mississippi Coliseum.
It is Raymond’s third state title in school history.
“So proud our guys handled the adversity when things got tough and the seniors to get to go out as back to back state champs,” Tadlock said. “Our motto is to give in or dig in and our guys dug in and handled the pressure well.”
Shardarrion Allen would pour in a game-high 29 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had four steals to lead Raymond and was named the games Most Valuable Player.
“My guys and the coaches they trust me when I have the ball in my hands and to go make plays and got the job done,” Allen said. “Feels great to go out has back to back champs. We are family and we trust each other and that is what won this game tonight.”
Cameron Woodall would add 10 points for Raymond, while Jiris Killingsworth chipped in eight points for the Rangers (29-6).
Corinth was up 12-11 at the end of the first quarter and that was the only time Raymond trailed the entire game.
With the game tied at 38 at the end of the third quarter Raymond would open the fourth quarter on a 14-3 run to go up 52-41 and began to pull away from there.
“Seniors have been this far before and I knew they would step up tonight,” Tadlock said. “We want to make Jackson our home away from home, so we will get back to work to get back here next year.”
JonDarius Warren had 16 points to lead Corinth, while Axavius Strickland added 13 points for the Warriors (23-10).