February 12, 2009

Smith leads No. 1 seed Noxubee County

COLUMBUS, Miss., - Noxubee County's Shaunessy Smith refused to let his team lose.

The Mississippi State signee carried the Tigers scoring 42 points in a comeback win knocking off West Point 73-67 in the second round of the MHSAA Class 4A Region 4 Tournament at New Hope High School.

"I just kind of put the team on my back," Smith said. "I was just feeling it tonight. I knew the situation we were in so I had to just step up and do what I had to do."

Noxubee trailed by as many as 11 points late in the game but Smith showed his senior leadership during a timeout that got the Tigers back on track according to head coach T.J. Billups.

"We called a timeout and I pretty much let him take over," Billups said. "He told the guys that we are not going to lose this game. He just put it on his shoulders."

The Tigers were the No. 1 seed coming out of the district and received a first round bye. Billups was concerned about facing a team like West Point in their first game of the tournament.

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