Princeton Falls to St. Francis in the Section Championship
The Tigers traveled over to Monticello High School Thursday night, to battle the Saints for the chance to go to state.
Princeton came in with the best scoring offense in all of class AAA. But they would put that to the test against a St. Francis defense who was peaking at the right time.
The game got off to a bit of a slow start for both teams, although a tad slower for Princeton. They found themselves down by 11 early on. The Tigers were able to cut into the deficit but the Saints continued to stretch the lead back out to double digits. Late in the 1st half it looked like Princeton had found some momentum to work with, as they again cut the lead down to 3. But St. Francis ripped that spark away as they hit a buzzer beater shot to lead by 5 at the half 26-21.
The 2nd half was better for Princeton. They found more lanes to the basket, and got a couple more bounces to go their way. Late in the 2nd half the teams traded a one point lead. With under a 30 seconds to go in the game it was tied at 52. Princeton had an opportunity to take a lead but missed and the Saints grabbed the rebound. St. Francis quickly brought the ball up the court and had two shots to win, but both were blocked by Princeton to send the game into overtime.
The way the overtime period began it felt like the Tigers had finally broke through and were headed to a win. Up by only one but they definitely had momentum on their side. With under 30 seconds again they were set to dribble the clock out but a lane to the basket opened and they looked to go up by 3. Sadly, the lane closed quickly and the pass was off its mark and the ball went back to the Saints. St. Francis was able to score and take a one point lead. With 5 seconds left Princeton one last chance. The play call had played out nearly perfect the shot went up with zeros on the clock, but the rim did not give a friendly bounce and the Tigers fell 59-58.
The Tigers wrap up the season at 22-6, Mississippi 8 conference champs and runners up in section 5AAA.
Congratulations to Princeton on a great year, and good luck to the seniors!
Graham Peterson 27
Cooper Drews 14
Aaron Keykal 10
Christian Williams 7