BOONEVILLE • With 3-pointers raining all night on both ends of the court, Trey McKinney was content to be king of the mid-range jumper.
McKinney scored 26 points to lead No. 6 Booneville to an 85-75 win over Division 1-3A foe Alcorn Central on Friday, avenging a loss to the Bears on Dec. 11.
Both teams shot well from behind the arc: Central was 11 of 27, while Booneville was 11 of 26. But the steadiest player for the Blue Devils was McKinney, who made 11 field goals – 10 from 2-point range, including seven mid-range jump shots.
“That’s my sweet spot,” the senior said.
Booneville (10-4, 4-2) raced to a 12-3 lead behind four 3-pointers, but Alcorn Central (11-7, 2-4) didn’t flinch. The Bears started getting threes to fall, and Keagan Hicks relentlessly attacked the basket.
The Blue Devils led 47-37 at halftime, but the Bears cut it to 56-53 midway through the third quarter. Kaleb Guy helped keep Booneville in front with a pair of 3-pointers.
Josh Dukes scored 23 points for Booneville, making 5 of 9 from behind the arc. He hit his first three 3-point shots of the game.
Dukes’ outside shooting opened up the floor for McKinney and big man Billy Johnson, who notched 15 points on 7 of 7 shooting.
“It was as well offensively as we’ve played and shot the ball, and we looked more comfortable,” Booneville coach Michael Smith said.
The Blue Devils shot 58.6% from the floor. Alcorn Central made 51% of its shots, and Hicks led the way with 29 points.
“We haven’t seen many teams that shoot the ball as good as us, if not better than us, and they definitely shot the ball better than us tonight,” Central coach Josh Harrison said.
L.J. Shumpert had 15 rebounds and six assists for Booneville, while Guy and McKinney had seven assists each.
(G) Booneville 51, Alcorn Central 47: Hallie Burns and Mary Houston Ivy scored 16 points apiece as the Lady Blue Devils (4-8, 1-5) held on late.
Alcorn Central (9-12, 2-4) was paced by Ella Mask’s 20 points.
Turning Point: A Brady Talley 3-pointer drew the Bears within 71-65 with 5:14 left, but Dukes responded with a 3-point play, and McKinney followed with a jumper.
Point Maker: McKinney shot 11 of 22 from the field.
Talking Point: “We knew McKinney mid-range, he’s just killer. We tried to run them off the 3-point line and ended up running into McKinney’s favor, and he picked up where Dukes left off and wore the net out on us.” – Harrison