West Point boys edged by Southeast Lauderdale at Starkville Tournament

James Cunningham gets back on defense for the West Point Green Wave in Starkville on Saturday afternoon.
Staff Writer

It was a great start for the West Point Green Wave on Saturday afternoon at the Starkville Thanksgiving Classic and it was almost an outstanding finish.

West Point jumped out to a 12-2 lead after one quarter behind the scoring of James Cunningham, but fell behind Southeast Lauderdale at halftime.

The Green Wave hung around and a shot from almost mid court went in for Kenwan Randle, but it was after the buzzer sounded and they lost a 58-57 decision.

"We've got to do a better job defensively in the first half," West Point coach Donta Yates said. "We took a lead, but allowed them to get back into the game. We just didn't do what it takes to regain the lead."

Cunningham had 10 first-quarter points as the Green Wave secured the advantage, but were outscored 20-7 in the second quarter to fall behind 22-19 at halftime.

Southeast Lauderdale held a 36-31 lead at the end of the third quarter, then stretched the margin to as much as nine points at 42-33 early in the fourth quarter.

The shooting of Randle kept West Point in striking distance and a basket by Chiante Henderson helped tie the game at 46-46.

After Southeast Lauderdale went up 50-46, the Green Wave scored the next two baskets to tie the game again. West Point could not get the lead, however.

Southeast Lauderdale gained a 58-55 advantage late in the game, then Randle got two points for the Green Wave to cut the score to 58-57.

Randle got his hands back on the basketball with only seconds remaining and launched a shot that would have counted if it not had come after the buzzer sounded.

Cunningham finished with 19 points for West Point and Randle also scored in double figures with 12 points. Dishanne Cooperwood was next up in the scoring column with seven points.