Simsboro seemed unbeatable. They had won back-to-back state titles and cruised through the Class-B playoffs without so much as a test from any opponent.
They weren’t expecting Doyline, or Decari Markray, to put on the performance they did.
Doyline forward Jamari Markray stole a cross-court pass and ran the the length of the floor, scooped in a reverse layup with seven seconds left in overtime to put the Panthers up 85-83 in the Class-B state finals on Saturday at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles, La.
Simsboro guard Kalep Crane rushed down the floor, got off a good look at a 20-footer, but it rimmed out.
Just like that, Doyline snatchd their first state title since 1967.
“These guys were on cloud nine,” Doyline head coach Michael Normand said. “The fact that they brought this home is a testament to our kids and their grit.”
It’s also a testament to the greatness of senior forward Decari Markray, who put up an astounding 25 point, 26-rebound performance that has to go down as one of the best state finals performance in Louisiana history.
“Decari had 55 points and 41 rebounds in two games down here,” Normand said.
Markray won MVP of the tournament and will surely have more than a few universities vying for his services.
Jamaria Clark finished with 16 points and four assists in the finals, while Javeon Nelson had 12 points and Marcus Young had ten points and seven rebounds.
Jamari Markray finished with nine points, none more important than the game-winner.
“We showed a lot of grit tonight against a very good Simsboro team,” Normand said.
Doyline finished the season on a 30-game win streak.
The game was played in front of only essential staff after the LHSAA shut down fans from entering due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Seemingly the entire town of Doyline greeted the Panthers upon arrival near midnight after the game.