The Trojans (27-5) will play Velma Jackson (33-2) in the 3A State Title game at 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon at the Mississippi Coliseum.
“I’m so proud of this team for the way they’ve played all year,” East Side head coach Leroy Cotton said. “We came out and executed well. Defensively, we played very well, and we feel good about our opportunity moving forward.”
The Trojans jumped out hard and fast on the Panthers taking a 21-11 lead into the second quarter.
The Panthers started to get things going in the second outscoring East Side 8-4 for a 24-19 game. East Side found its groove again and ended the first half on a 10-2 run for a 34-21 halftime lead.
The third quarter saw a different Morton team then the one that ended the first half. Defensively, the Panthers came out more aggressive by forcing East Side to turn the ball over. The turnovers resulted in an 8-2 run and to cut the Trojans’ lead down to 36-29.
Once again with their backs against the wall, the Trojans responded in true never say die fashion as they closed out the third quarter on am 11-0 run with Clarence Stewart, Jr. hitting a three-point shot at the buzzer for a 47-29 score.
The big finish in the third carried over into the fourth as the Trojans never looked back and put the finishing touch on the Panthers.
“Whenever down, whenever pushed, all year long, they’ve never backed down,” Cotton said about his team. “They never give up regardless of the score. They keep fighting.”
Jon Paul Davis led the Trojans with 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks, followed by Charles Jackson with 16 points and 11 rebounds, Perry Henry with 10 points and Barron Burns with eight points.
Morton ended its season at 17-14.