Team defense and sharing the basketball were the keys to success as the Hawks flew by the Panthers 64-31 to improve to 25-7 overall on the year and earn a spot in Thursday’s championship game against Hinds AHS at 8 p.m. West Lowndes ended its year at 11-12.
“It’s just a blessing to be here in this spot,” Shaw head coach Anthony Davis said. “Defense has been our calling card all year and today we wanted to come out and do what we have been doing. Our defense turns to offense and tonight was a good example of that.”
The Hawks opened the contest strong jumping out to a 20-8 first quarter lead. The Hawks continued that same effort in the second quarter as they took a 34-14 lead into the locker room.
Shaw kept its foot to the pedal in the second half as the team forced turnover after turnover that resulted in easy layups. The Hawks were able to hold a commanding 49-22 lead going into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter Shaw put the nail in the coffin as they opened the period on a 10-0 run which led to a 64-31 victory.
Jermarquis Stimage led the Hawks with 22 points, while Zedric Bass added 18 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Octavius Stimage scored nine points with 10 rebounds to aid Shaw.
This time last season, the Hawks were finishing the year without Bass.
Davis said being at this point in the season is due in large part to having the athletic forward.
“It’s a blessing to have him,” Davis said. “Last year, we missed him dearly and having him this season has just been a great blessing. I think with his athletic ability it will be hard for anyone to hold us and beat us.”
For the first time under Davis, the Hawks are in the state championship game. The Hawks have not won a state basketball championship since they won the BB State Title in 1974.
With the opportunity, Davis said he wants the team to stay humble and continue to play hard.
“With everything we always put God first and everything else takes care of itself,” Davis said. “We have to continue to play together and play defense.”