Behind a strong third quarter and the play of junior phenom D.J. Jeffries, Olive Branch ran past Forest Hill 66-46 to claim the MHSAA Boys Class 5A state championship at the Mississippi Coliseum on Friday night.
It is the Conquistadors first state title in school history.
“This is one great group of guys. They work so hard in the gym and just get after it and I’m so proud of them,” said Olive Branch coach Eric Rombaugh. “The thing is to play our ball. First half we didn’t play real well and I said at halftime we just need to go after them and see what happens.”
Well they did.
Olive Branch never trailed and was up 28-20 at halftime.
The Quistors would come out and outscore Forest Hill 22-9 in the third quarter to go up 50-29 and began to pull away from there.
D.J. Jeffries would have a game-high 20 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead Olive Branch and was named the games Most Valuable Player.
“I think I had a pretty solid game, but could’ve done better but we pulled it out,” Jeffries said. “We had our ups and downs as a team this year, but we came together at the end and now we’re champions and it’s an amazing feeling.”
Joe Cooper added 11 points for Olive Branch, while Cameron Matthews would chip in 10 points for the Quistors (28-4).
For Kelvin Allen, who was the only senior on the team, it was his goal to go out with a state title.
“The last two years we came up short and I cried after those games and I told the guys this year we were going to come back this year and take it and we did,” Allen said. “We wanted revenge and we got it.”
Keondre Montgomery would have 12 points to lead Forest Hill, while Marc Evans chipped in 10 points for the Patriots (26-7).