Rashad Bolden gets third ring as St. Andrew’s races past Booneville in MHSAA 3A Championship (video)

JACKSON — Rashad Bolden wanted to go out with a bang.

Well, he did.

Behind the play of Bolden, who scored a game-high 23 points, St. Andrew’s ran past Booneville 59-32 to claim their second straight MHSAA Class 3A Boys Basketball State Championship at the Mississippi Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.

LIVE BOYS SCOREBOARD | 3A BOYS BRACKET

It’s the Saints (22-2) third state title in school history, with all three coming in the last four years.

“We prepared for a dog fight and it was. They gave us some trouble with the defenses they threw at us,” said St. Andrew’s coach Russell Marsalis. “Our defense was solid this game and to hold a team like that under 40 points is impressive.”

St. Andrew’s led from start to finish, including a slim 10-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

The Saints created separation in the second quarter as they adjusted to Booneville’s defensive strategy and outscored the Blue Devils 19-4 to build a 29-13 lead at halftime.

“We were able to adjust a little to our offense … we haven’t seen triangle-and-two much and we weren’t getting to the right spots,” Marsalis said.

St. Andrew’s only managed five points in third quarter, but still held a 34-19 lead heading to the fourth quarter thanks to its stingy defense. The Saints never had their lead cut below 12 points in the fourth quarter.

“We don’t taken getting here for granted and to win three out of four and win it my first year here is big for the program,” Marsalis said.

Bolden had a game-high 23 points to lead St. Andrew’s and was named the game’s most valuable player.

“It’s a blessing to go out there to compete for a state championship my senior year and going out winning a state championship,” Bolden said. “I wanted to leave my mark at St. Andrew’s and feel like three state championships in four years I did that.”

Jake Dowdell added 16 points for St. Andrew’s.

Trey McKinney had 11 points to lead Booneville. Billy Johnson added nine points for the Blue Devils (23-5).

“Bolden was like a coach on the floor and they did good job of getting to the free throw line and making shots,” said Booneville coach Michael Smith. “The biggest thing for us was we missed too many shots early and they made us pay for that.”

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