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Devante Thompson, Bogue Chitto advance to MHSAA 2A Boys championship with come-from-behind win over New Site

Thompson picked up an old-school three-point play in the final minute to push the Bobcats over the hump

The Bogue Chitto boys were close to being a championship-caliber team last season, and they are right back in the title picture in 2024.

The Bobcats rallied past New Site Tuesday in a 53-50 thriller to punch their ticket to the 2024 MHSAA Class 2A Championship at the Mississippi Coliseum.

Bogue Chitto (27-1) will play the Ingomar-Bay Springs winner at 4 p.m. Friday with a golden ball on the line.

“This is amazing,” Bobcat coach Marc Howard said. “It’s a four-year journey for me as a coach, but it’s also a lifetime journey being from Bogue Chitto. This group that are juniors now were my first junior-high class, and I told them give us three years and we’ll be in a position to do something special, and we’re here now.”

The Bobcats’ season nearly ended in the same spot it did last year in Tuesday’s semifinal. New Site (23-6) led the game 50-48 with under a minute to go, but Bogue Chitto got a steal and an old-school three-point play from its star Devonta Thompson, who put the ball on the floor once before driving the baseline and making a contested layup while picking up the foul.

He sunk the free throw to give the Bobcats the 51-50 lead with 54 seconds to go.

“My first five shots of the second half weren’t falling,” Thompson said. “So I knew I wanted to drive it there and try to get a foul call. I’m a pretty good free throw shooter, so when (the ball) went in, that was just a bonus.”

The steal that preceded that go-ahead play was Thompson’s 10th of the game. The junior also finished with a game-high 23 points for the Bobcats.

“Devonte’s just a consistent player for us,” Howard said. “He gets animated sometimes, but he does things that everyone wants to be able to do. He made a big play for us there at the end, but that’s exactly what he’s done for us this year.”

Dallas Pounds and Daniel Wildmon each scored 17 points for New Site (23-6).