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Ashland Blue Devils Win 2nd Gold Ball in Back-to-Back Championships

JACKSON – Ashland’s revenge was three years in the making. The Shaw Hawks knocked Ashland out of the playoffs three years ago and then again the next season. The Ashland Blue Devils finally defeated Shaw 88-57 on Thursday in the MSHAA Class 1A State Tournament final. “Shaw had been our kryptonite,” Ashland head coach Rolley Tipler said. “There isn’t that much luck, they weren’t going to beat us a million times in a row. ”While the road to the championship game was filled with standout DeAnthony Tipler leading the way, the final was the embodiment of a team effort. Ashland (28-6) had five players reach double figures – Tipler (16), Caddarrious Crumb (14), Juwan Martin (14), Ocquavion Agyekum (14) and Richard Brooks (12).Crumb was named the championship game MVP, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking two shots to go along with his scoring total. Martin played one of his best games of his career, the senior had a double-double with his 12 rebounds. “We had to have everyone to produce points,” Marin said. “I had to step up as a senior because it was my last ride, and I had to make it count. ”The emphasis on the strong team play came from Rolley Tipler before the game. “What are you willing to sacrifice was my pregame speech,” Tipler said. “Are you willing to sacrifice how many points you score or sacrifice to take a charge? Are you willing to sacrifice a good shot a better one? ”The win gives Ashland back-to-back championships, but the pressure to repeat was never on the players’ minds throughout the season. “We already knew no one could beat us in 1A,” Martin said. “I wouldn’t say it was cocky, but we just had to live up to the expectations. ”Shaw (24-9) cut the lead to two points early in the second quarter, but Ashland responded with a 13-4 run lasting most of the quarter, which put the game out of reach for Shaw. Ashland led 31-24 at halftime.  

 

Source: Southern Sentinel