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JACKSON — For the seventh time in the last nine years, Velma Jackson is going back to the state championship game.

Behind the play of Derick Bush and Devin Jones, the Falcons got past Choctaw County 51-38 in the Semifinal Round of the MHSAA Boys Class 2A playoffs on Tuesday afternoon at the Mississippi Coliseum.

Velma Jackson (17-10) will face Pine Grove for the Class 2A State Championship on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.

“I thought the guys were nervous at the beginning. They did fine defensively, but offensively we missed a lot of lay-ups early,” said Velma Jackson coach Christopher Love. “Defensively I was satisfied of how we played. We defended their best player very well.”

The Falcons never trailed the entire game as they held a 9-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 23-15 lead at halftime.

The closest Choctaw County came within the Falcons was six points at 20-14 late in the second quarter.

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In the second half Velma Jackson opened the quarter on a 7-2 run to stretch their lead out to 30-19 and held a 37-25 lead at halftime.

In the fourth quarter every time Choctaw County cut the lead to under 10 points the Falcons had an answer.

Bush scored the final five points for Velma Jackson to put the game away.

Jones had 15 points to lead Velma Jackson, while Bush finished with 14 points for the Falcons. The difference in the game was rebounding, as Velma Jackson had 28 offensive rebounds to Choctaw County’s five and out-rebounded the Chargers 46-33.

“We played good defensively, offensively we did alright, but glad we moved onto the next round,” Jones said. “Coach put in a great defensive plan, and we just did what he said.”

Caleb Cunningham had a game-high 16 points to lead Choctaw County, while Jalyn Cole added 15 points for the Chargers (14-14).

“We didn’t finish the deal tonight. They killed us on the boards and second chance points,” said Choctaw County coach Chris Pettit. “They absolutely hammered us on the boards and got more of those then what we did.”