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CANTON — To begin the season, Canton set three goals.

On Friday night , they met one of those.

Thanks to an outstanding performance from point guard Jermarcus Riley-Davis and some stellar shooting behind the three-point line, the Tigers got past rival and defending 5A state champion Holmes County Central 65-58.

With the win, Canton (15-6) finished a perfect 6-0 in Region 3-5A and clinched the No. 1 seed in the Region 3-5A tournament, set two weeks from today at Holmes County Central.

“Some nights, we shoot the ball well, and tonight was one of those nights,” said Canton coach Russell Evans. “I always remind the guys — you should make shots at home, and we like to shoot the three and I was proud of how they played on the offensive end.”

Canton never trailed.

The Tigers came out firing, starting the game on a 11-2 run, but held on to have a slim 11-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Midway through the second quarter, Canton went on a 11-2 run to increase the lead to 20-11. Holmes County ended the first half on a 8-2 run to cut the Tigers lead to 24-19 at halftime.

In the third quarter with Canton up 32-25 the Tigers went on a 8-2 run to extend the lead to 40-27, however the Jaguars ended the quarter on a 9-0 run to cut the lead down to four points at 40-36.

To begin the fourth quarter, the Tigers went on a 11-3 run to extend the lead to 51-39, and from that point their lead didn’t get below six points.

Canton hit 10 three-pointers.

“Earlier in the year, we would come out of halftime the other team would go on a big run, but tonight they wanted it and wanted to go 6-0 in division,” Evans said. “Jermarcus is one of the best players in the state that no one knows about. He plays hard and plays all 32 minutes, but he does what we need him to do to win.”

Riley-Davis had 23 points to lead Canton. Corey Jackson added 13 points, while Jamarion Fleming had 12 points and DeAndre Lewis had 10 points for the Tigers.

“One of the goals we had at the beginning of the year was to go 6-0 in division, win district championship and then make it to the Coliseum and tonight we got one of those,” Riley-Davis said. “We’re shooting the ball really well right now and playing well right now.”

Ricky Fletcher had a game-high 25 points to lead Holmes County Central, while Ricarvis Waters added 12 points for the Jaguars (15-9).

“They made some shots at home and their point guard played excellent tonight,” said Holmes County Central coach DeAngelo Priar. “We’re going to be fine just having to get some kids to buy into what we’re doing and with district tournament coming up we will be fine.”

Feature photo by Brandon Shields