MOSS POINT — Moss Point forward David Booker received two gifts in the Tigers' Class 5A South State Finals against Meridian on Saturday night.

The senior became the school's career scoring leader, breaking the 18-year-old record held by Litterial Green.

Booker finished with 40 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the ninth-ranked Tigers beat Meridian 99-82 before a jubilant crowd of 2,000 at Arthur Haynes Gymnasium.

By winning South State, Moss Point (22-8) gets a bye to the semifinals on March 8 at 8 p.m.

Booker now has 2,230 points to eclipse the mark of 2,220 Green set from 1985 to 1988. He set the mark while battling a cold.

"Breaking the record means I've accomplished something and won't be forgotten at Moss Point,'' Booker said. "I didn't think about record until mid season when I had a shot at breaking it.''

Moss Point coach Brian Brooks is proud of Booker's accomplishment, which includes making the 5A state tournament during his entire prep

career.

"It means a lot because of how long the record stood,'' Brooks said.

"The record gives magnitude because we won South state. He is a leader.''

Moss Point kept its record at home perfect behind an impressive three-point shooting barrage in the second half. The Tigers hit a dozen treys, led by Booker, Jeremy Stewart and Cortez Burnett.

Stewart finished with 21 points and 13 assists, while Burnett added 18 points and six rebounds. Moss Point overcame a 16-point second half deficit.

"We practice on our shooting everyday,'' Burnett said. "We have a good shooting team.''

Added Stewart: "We wanted to win South state at home. We hadn't lost a game on our court in almost two years.''

Brooks wasn't surprised that Stewart and Burnett had big performances.

"We knew Meridian would concentrate on stopping David,'' Brooks said. "All of our opponents have done that in the second half. You can't leave Cortez open.''

Chris Leggett led Meridian (24-10) with 31 points and 18 rebounds.

Chris Gamble added 18 points and six rebounds.

Wingfield 76

Forest Hill 64

Chris Wallace scored 17 points as the Falcons (22-13) earned their first state tournament berth since 1975.

Richard Harper added 13, while Chris Lewis and Maurice Bolden each scored 10 for the South's third place team.

Terrell Kennedy led Forest Hill (26-8) with 20 points. Kevin Sims finished with 18.

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