Mount Pleasant Basketball | News | by Drew Barkley
It was a festive atmosphere in Willie Williams Gym Tuesday night as the Mount Pleasant Tigers wrapped up their regular season in style with a 73-54 victory over the second-place Tyler Lions. Before their final home game of the season, the Tigers and head coach Joey Chism honored eight seniors, including student assistants Evan Shelley and Taniah Johnson, and players Xavier Hills, De’Keivous Heath, Kelcey Morris, Payton Chism, Luke Hampton, and Kyler Smith. The Tigers sent the seniors in style, controlling the game from the tip and vaulting the team into the playoffs.
Kelcey Morris started the scoring with a pull-up jumper from the left wing and a foul but couldn’t complete the three-point play. On the ensuing rebound, Tyler sprinted the floor for an easy deuce to tie the score at 2-2. A Reggie Webster pump fake sent two Lion defenders flying as Webster put the ball in the hoop to give the Tigers back the lead at 4-2. Tyler would continue to match Mount Pleasant stride for stride, even staking a 7-6 lead midway through the physical first quarter. But the Tigers would use a 13-7 run to close the frame up 19-14.
Mount Pleasant would have their best quarter of the game in the second, clamping down on defense and holding Tyler to 9 points. The Tigers were relentless in their attack on the basket, getting to the free-throw line. It seemed almost every trip down the floor. Frustration boiled over the frame for Tyler as they assessed a technical foul fueling the Tiger’s 9-3 run to open the quarter leading to an eventual 37-23 lead for the home team at the break.
The Lions would not go away, coming out strong in the third quarter and cutting the Tiger lead to three midway through the period at 41-38. The refs kept the game in check as both teams began to get in foul trouble, and that tested the depth tested late. Tyler’s 15-4 run finally ended as Mount Pleasant would answer with a 12-4 run to close the quarter. The final frame was all Tigers, who increased their lead to as many as 20 and went into game control mode. All Tyler could do was trap or foul, but the gap was too much to overcome.
Payton Chism led all scorers with 18 points ( 3-10 FG, 12-17 FT), two assists, and one steal. Kelcey Morris was close behind with 17 points (6-10 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 4-5 FT), three assists, and four steals. Reggie Webster joined them in double figures with 12 points (4-9 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 2-5 FT), and Kai Price added 9 points (3-4 FG, 3-5 FT). Other scorers were Carter Chism, with 6 points. Jordyn Hurndon and Kyler Smith had 4 points each, and Antez Jeffery had 3 points.
Mount Pleasant finishes the regular season with a perfect 33-0 record, tying the previous record-setting season win total of the 2019-2020 team that went 33-4. The Tigers will play their Bi-District playoff game next Tuesday, February 21, at Palestine High School versus Porter, the fourth-place finisher in District 16-5A. Game time is 7:00 pm, and they sell tickets at the door.