Freshman sparks Bulldogs to 2A state championship

After coming so close to winning the Class 2A state championship last season, the Bay Springs Bulldogs put a stamp on this season with a 56-51 championship victory over tradition-rich Ingomar on Friday.

The Bulldogs (31-3) accomplished the feat without two of its starters, who missed the game for undisclosed reasons, and another who went down in the fourth quarter with a leg injury.

But freshman Chad Jones came off the bench to provide the biggest spark, scoring a game-high 21 points for Bay Springs.

Bay Springs was without starting point guard Anthony Wheaton and sixth-man JaCorrieous Moore, while star Kevin Grimes left with an injury.

“No. 11 (Jones) was the difference out there,” Ingomar coach Jonathan Ashley told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. “They had two guys they were counting on who weren’t out there. He made big shot after big shot after big shot. You’ve got to tip your hat to him.”

Ingomar led by three, 27-24, at halftime but could not withstand Bay Springs’ 31 second-half points.

Jones scored six points in the third quarter as the game entered the final quarter tied at 35.

An 8-0 run in the fourth quarter opened the lead for Bay Springs.

“He did a tremendous job,” Bay Springs coach Corey Mackey said of Jones. “I joked with his mom and told her that he needed to be ready for this game and she was terrified. I told her that Chad was going to have to do it for us, so I’m kind of a genius now, I guess.”

Zach Shugars and Nathan Weeden scored 12 points each to lead Ingomar.

In January, the Falcons defeated Bay Springs 67-61 at Ingomar.

Last season, Bay Springs reached the championship game and lost to Coahoma County in the title match. In the state semifinals this year, Bay Springs defeated Coahoma County to reach the title game.

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