RIDGELAND — All Forest Hill needed was a spark.
They found it at the right time.
The Patriots would use a 13-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to get past Meridian in a Top 10 showdown at the Rumble In The South at St. Andrew’s on Monday afternoon.
“I told the guys we could either hold or step up and play basketball and I think our guys just stepped up,” said Forest Hill coach Jerrie Curry. “Meridian did everything I thought they were going to do and they’re a great team. This win will definitely build confidence and we can build off it.”
It was a close game throughout that saw Meridian holding a slim lead. The Wildcats were up 13-10 at the end of the first quarter and then a 22-17 at halftime after Phillip Mosley hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Meridian would their lead to eight at the end of the third quarter at 39-31.
With the Wildcats were up 42-35 Forest Hill would go on a 13-0 run to go up 48-42.
The Patriots were up 56-53 with 12 seconds left in the game and Meridian would turn the ball over when trying to tie the game.
Four-star prospect Keondre Montgomery would have a double-double to lead the Patriots and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Montgomery had 22 points along with 11 rebounds and four assists for ninth-ranked Forest Hill (17-4).
“I knew I had to put my team on my back and carry the team and lead them,” Montgomery said. “Meridian is a tough team and we knew what we had to do with a game plan and go the job done. This is a big win for us Meridian goes to the state championship every year it seems so that was a big test, and this will help us moving forward.”
George Marshall added 18 points, five assists and two steals for Forest Hill, while Jayme Mitchell chipped in 12 points for the Patriots.
Phillip Mosley had 17 points to lead Meridian, while Makeem Roberts chipped in 12 points for the fourth-ranked Wildcats (17-4).
“Back to back turnovers that led to lay ups hurt us,” said Meridian coach Ron Norman. “We turned them over 23 times and had opportunities to score. We just got to go back to the drawing board and hold it together.”
Yazoo City 54, Jackson Academy 32
William Grayson had 10 points, five assists along with two steals as the Indians ran past the Raiders.
Grayson was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. Daon Henry also had 10 points for Yazoo City, while Jaquarrius Collom added eight points for the Indians (15-7).
Wenton Walker had eight points to lead Jackson Academy (16-8).
Heritage Academy 69, North Pike 62
Jared Long would pour in a double-double as the Patriots were able to hold off a late Jaguar rally.
Long had 29 points along with 10 rebounds to lead Heritage Academy and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Eli Acker also had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Steele Altmyer chipped in 10 points for the Patriots (16-7), ranked No. 5 in the MAIS rankings.
Alijah Martin had a game-high 39 points to lead North Pike (6-16).
Velma Jackson 75, MRA 54
Josh Lee had 24 points along with eight rebounds and three steals as the Falcons ran past the Patriots.
Charlie Jones had a double-double for Velma Jackson as he had 22 points along with 10 rebounds. Mason Riley chipped in 11 points for the Falcons (16-5), ranked No. 1 in 3A.
Josh Hubbard had 14 points to lead MRA, while Trent Coleman added 13 points and D.H. Dew chipped in 12 points for the Patriots (19-5), ranked No. 1 in MAIS.
Starkville 75, Center Hill 74 (OT)
Forte Prater would hit a three-point with 6.8 seconds left as the sixth-ranked Yellowjackets edged the Mustangs in overtime.
Prater had 18 points, seven assists and steals to lead Starkville and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Jarmarvious Phillips added 15 points for Starkville, while Coltie Young chipped in 14 points and Eric Green had 13 points for the Yellowjackets (17-2).
Decorian Payton had a game-high 21 points to lead Center Hill, while Jacquez Hardin added 17 points and Kaeden Laws chipped in 16 points for the Mustangs (16-7).
St. Andrew’s 67, Brandon 52
Rashad Bolden had a game-high 24 points along with eight rebounds, four steals and three assists to lead the Saints passed the Bulldogs.
Bolden was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. Arness Georgetown added 19 points, while Jake Dowdell chipped in 12 points for the Saints (18-3), ranked No. 2 in 3A.
Zyshoun Harper had 15 points to lead Brandon, while Ismail Rashid added 10 points for Bulldogs (14-9).
Callaway 69, Petal 53
Daeshun Ruffin had a game-high 23 points along with five assists and seven steals to lead the top-ranked Chargers past the Panthers. Ruffin was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Cuwandric Samuel added 13 points, while Keivion Hunt chipped in 11 points for Callaway (16-4).
Jamar Jenkins had 15 points to lead Petal, while Caleb McGill and Marcel Blackwell added 12 points each for the Panthers (11-5).
Wingfield 68, Raymond 65
DaMarion Arrington had 18 points as the Falcons were able to hold off the Rangers.
Arrington was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Jaqwone Curry had a double-double for Wingfield scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Deonta Griffin had 16 points for the Falcons (16-7).
Jabarie Robinson had a game-high 25 points to lead Raymond. Tremaine Dixon and Kearius Stimage each had 11 points for the Rangers (14-7), ranked No. 3 in 4A.