The Ruleville Central Tigers had the Holly Springs High School Hawks on the ropes Wednesday in the semifinals of the 3A State Boys Basketball Tournament at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.
The Tigers scored the first seven points of the ball game and led by as many as 12 points at 37-25 with seven minutes to go in the third quarter. The Hawks overcome battled back strong to earn the 48-45 win to eliminate the Tigers and advance to the 3A State Boys Basketball Championship game against St. Andrews Saturday at the Mississippi Coliseum at 3 p.m.
Ruleville’s shooting was solid in the first half as the Tigers shot 56.5 percent (13-of-23) and hit two of their first three shots in the field in the second half. Ruleville, however, went on a cold streak by missing nine consecutive shots from the floor and 17 of its final 19 shots for the game. Ruleville scored only third points in the fourth quarter.
In the second half, Ruleville shot only 18.2 percent (4-of-22) in the second half and 37.8 percent (17-of-45) for the game. Holly Springs shot 44.4 percent (8-of-18) in the second half and 40 percent (16-of-40) for the game.
Pierre Pruitt led the Tigers with 14 points and six rebounds, followed by Joseph Perez with 11 points and nine rebounds, Arctavious Clark with seven points and nine rebounds and Michael Harris with six points, three rebounds and two assists.
Dequan Smith had a solid game for the Hawks as he scored 21 points with seven rebounds and four steals, followed by Rahmon Rutherford with nine points.
Ruleville concluded its season at 23-10.