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From Staff Reports
OKOLONA â€“ The West Oktibbeha boys basketball team's season ended Thursday with a 65-62 loss to H.W. Byers in the second round of the Class A North State playoffs at Okolona.
Kendrin Yates scored 17 points for the Timberwolves while Aaron Brownlee added 14 and Von Smith put up 12, but it wasn't enough as West Oktibbeha ended their year with a 21-9 overall record.
"It's not disappointing for us," said West Oktibbeha head coach Danny Crawford. "The kids played hard once again. We gave up a couple of big shots out of our press and it was a tight game the whole way out. They came to play and we played hard. They were able to hit a couple more free throws than we did at the end."
Though the Timberwolves came up short of their goal of a berth in the Class A State Tournament at Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, Crawford realizes his team has the potential for another special season next year.
"All my 10th graders, they got all this experience under their belt this year," said Crawford. "I've got a great junior class with Aaron Brownlee and Kendrin Yates and Dwight Quinn and those guys. I'm excited once again about next year."
Still, Crawford says next season feels like a long way away and right now, Thursday's loss hurts.
"To be so close to somewhere that this school has never been, I just feel like I let the whole town down, the whole school down and the whole community down," said Crawford. "I'm hurting inside. This is rough right now. We were so close. We could reach out and grab it, but we fell short."