Shemar Crawford drives the ball through the defender. 

HATLEY – The Houston Hilltoppers defeated the Noxubee Tigers by a score of 55-51 to become back-to-back division champions.

The night saw the Toppers trailing at times, and Noxubee had been the Toppers' biggest challenge all season long.

However, thanks to the grit and determination of players like Shemar Crawford, who had some big plays to put the Toppers up late in the game, and was the top scorer with 17 points, and Raeshun McGregory who was second in scoring with 15.

“[There were some] big plays down the stretch and big contributions from everyone,” said head coach Chris Pettit. “Tough kids win big games. Toppers are your back-to-back Region Champs!”

The Toppers had to first face off against Choctaw County for their opening game of the tournament.

They easily defeated them by a score of 67-44. MJ Smith was the top scorer for that game, with 18 points. He was followed by Crawford with 13 and EJ Stovall and Jay Duffy, both with 10.

The Toppers will head into the playoffs with a first seed.

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