Lady Rebel Roney wins in prep finale; UC duo taste loss

Lady Rebel Roney wins in prep finale; UC duo taste loss
Lady Rebel Roney wins in prep finale; UC duo taste loss

Obion Central’s Jana Roney looks for an open teammate during the Golden-Circle All-Star Classic Saturday night in Jackson.
JACKSON — Jana Roney went out a winner in her final game in an Obion Central jersey at the West Tennessee Golden Circle All-Star Classic Saturday night. As a member of the North team, Roney pitched in seven points — including the game-clinching pair of free throws — to help her squad to a slim 79-77 triumph over the South at Liberty High School. Meanwhile, on the boys’ side, Union City’s MJ Brown and Andre Coby tasted defeat for the first time since 2007 — when the Twisters’ lost in the Region 7A semifinals — in an 88-82 loss to the South. On a sidenote, some local fans may have thought Brown was stricken with a case of dyslexia Saturday evening. During the all-star game, Brown sported the No. 42 due to the fact this his prep jersey No. 24 has already been framed. With the new jersey on, Brown pitched in six points and dished out four assists. Coby sank his only basket off a feed from Brown. From this point, Roney’s future includes reporting to Murray State’s summer basketball drills this week, with Coby on his way to play at Columbia State Community College. Brown has applied for admission at both Western Kentucky and the University of Tennessee after turning down full scholarship offers from UT Martin and Southeast Missouri among others. The back-to-back Class A Mr. Basketball plans to walk on with either the Hilltoppers’ or Volunteers’ program. Future aside, Saturday signaled the end of an era for the three highly decorated Obion County basketball stars. For starters, it was the last time that Brown and Coby — who both helped UC to the Class A state championship and an undefeated 37-0 record this past season — will probably play together on the same team in an organized game. “Despite the loss, this was a fun way to end my high school career,” Brown said after the game. “This is maybe the last time Andre and I will be on the court together in the same uniform and I’m glad we both got this opportunity.” Coby echoed that sentiment. “It’s good to get to play together one last time in these (Union City) uniforms,” Coby agreed. “I would have liked to have a different outcome, but the South had a bit more size than we did tonight and we couldn’t play the fast-paced style that we would have liked to.” On the girls’ side, Roney played her final game in a prep uniform sans Lady Rebel teammate Gentry Reedy, who was also selected to play on the North team but elected not to participate. “I do hate that I didn’t get to play with Gentry again,” Roney said. “However, I think she’s at the point where she wants to be through with basketball and I respect her decision. “Still, it was neat to play with a lot of these girls because I’ve played with them for years in AAU basketball and against them in the district for so long.” During the North’s victory in the girls’ game, Roney scored her team’s first two and last two points. In between Roney’s opening basket and final two free throws that sealed the game, the North trailed by as many as a dozen. Then, Milan’s Chantel Poston took control with the Purdue signee good for 30 points en route to the event’s most valuable player trophy. Her Lady Bulldog teammate Shaniqua Gray — a Volunteer State signee herself — contributed 20 points for the victors. In the boys’ game, the most memorable moment for the UC duo came with 7:32 remaining in the second half. Brown found Coby under the basket one last time for an easy bank shot. Meanwhile, Jackson Central-Merry’s Jeremy Fason totaled 14 points for the South to earn the game’s most valuable player award. Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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