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|River Oaks ready for second round|
The River Oaks Mustangs (18-5, 7-3) will tangle with the top team in Class AA of the Mississippi Private School Association Thursday night in the second round of the South State playoffs.
River Oaks will play No.1 Brookhaven at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at Copiah High School in Gulman, Miss.
The Mustangs earned the spot after winning a third-place finish in district when they beat Chamberlin-Hunt on Friday. They followed that up with a 54-40 win over Central Private in the opening round of the playoffs on Tuesday evening.
Cody Trichell led the way for the Mustangs with 18 points. Will White added 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds while Vincent Moore chipped in 10 points for River Oaks.
Brookhaven, the defending state champion, returns a core of players from the team that won it all a year ago.
River Oaks will again find themselves at a size disadvantage, but coaches feel as if the team is ready for anything the champs can throw their way.
"Brookhaven is the top team in the area," River Oaks head coach Roger Stockton said. "They are strong at every position. Even though we are not very big, it is important for us to rebound the basketball."
River Oaks has maintained success this season by making the most out of their defensive stops and not having turnover issues.
With several player steeping forward to share the offensive load, River Oaks is now focused on making the defensive effort that is necessary to keep up with Brookhaven.
"The most important thing for us is to control the basketball," Stockton said. "We feel like we can play with anyone if we rebound and take care of the ball and do not have turnovers that cost us."
The game will mark the first meeting this season between the two schools. River Oaks is looking to continue to momentum from their late season push that gave their head coach his 500th career win.