Columbus High School's Robert Woodard II (12) muscles his way to the basket against Starkville in the semifinals of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 6A state tournament at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson on Wednesday. Photo by: Chris Todd/Special to The Dispatch
March 8, 2018 10:47:36 AM
JACKSON -- The Columbus boys' and the Starkville high school girls' basketball teams will play for state titles Saturday.
Robert Woodard II had 15 points, nine rebounds, and two blocked shots Wednesday night to lead Columbus to a 44-34 victory against Starkville in the semifinals of the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 6A state tournament.
Casey Smith had 11 points for Columbus (26-6), which will face Meridian (32-1) at 8 p.m. Saturday for the state championship.
The victory helped Columbus win the series against Starkville (25-4). Columbus won the first regular-season meeting 64-62. Starkville won the second match-up 58-53.
Earlier Wednesday in girls action, Jariyah Covington had 19 points to lead Starkville to a 60-51 victory against Pearl in the semifinals of the Class 6A State tournament. Jalisa Outlaw had 18 points and Tabreea Gandy added 11. Kirsten Thompson had nine points scored and 10 rebounds for Starkville (27-2), which will face Murrah (30-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday for the state championship.
With the teams tied at 34 early in the third quarter, Starkville reeled off a 12-0 run in 105 seconds.
A year ago, Starkville lost to Olive Branch in the state championship game. The MHSAA vacated that title because Olive Branch played an ineligible player. Starkville was declared the champion roughly six months after the game.
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Scott is sports copy editor and reporter
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