Ripley used defensive pressure to put themselves in position for a victory on Wednesday, but a last second shot from Iuka spoiled the Tigers 5 county run.
Iuka’s Braxton Brown hit a last-second jumper from the left corner that bounced around and fell in to give Iuka an 18-17 win over Ripley in a defensive battle.
With the win, Iuka advances to the semifinals of the 5-County Eighth Grade Basketball Championships to take on Booneville at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, January 27, at the Bonner Arnold Coliseum on the campus of Northeast Mississippi Community College.
In a back-and-forth contest, Iuka would lead for most of the fourth after Brown gave the Chieftains a three-point advantage (16-13) with a free throw with 4:07 left in the game. Just moments before, Connor Nunley had broken a 13-all tie with a layup with 4:52 showing.
Iuka’s lead was short-lived as JaSiri Yanez got his own rebound and went back up for a putback with 3:29 left in the contest to cut the game to 16-15.
Iuka was content with holding the ball and running out the clock and wasted almost a minute off the clock before Erin Scott was able to pick the pocket of the Chieftains and gave Ripley its first lead of the quarter.
Both teams had a chance to take control of the game late in the contest, but Deontre Mitchell thwarted a couple of Ripley attempts, and Scott forced a jump ball with 10.2 seconds showing.
Scott’s jump ball gave the orange back to Iuka under its own goal and set Brown up for the game-winner.
RIPLEY (17): Gabe Carroll 9, Erin Scott 4, Jasiri Yanez 2, Charlie Cross 2.
IUKA (18): Deontre Mitchell 6, Braxton Brown 6, Domonic Alexander 2, Connor Nunley 2