By Robert Wilson
Rashad Bolden led the St. Andrew’s boys basketball team to a return visit to the MHSAA Class 3A State Tournament this week with one of the best scoring runs of his career in three playoff games last week.
The 6-foot senior guard averaged 29.3 points, shot 52.8 percent from the field and 87.5 percent from the free throw line in three double-digit victories for the defending 3A state champions.
For his outstanding performance last week, Bolden has been named the Performance Therapy/Mississippi Scoreboard Boys Basketball Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Bolden had 25 points, made 9 of 14 from field and 3 of 3 from the line with 4 assists and 2 steals in a 73-45 victory over Wilkinson County Tuesday in the first round. He had 27 points, made 9 of 15 from the field and 9 of 12 from the line, with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal in a 73-53 victory over Morton Thursday in second round. Bolden had 36 points, 10 of 24 from the field and 16 of 17 from the line, with 11 rebounds in a 71-52 victory over Jefferson Davis Saturday in the quarterfinals.
“Rashad was locked in last week,” first-year St. Andrew’s coach Russell Marsalis said. “Teams ran a multiple of defenses against us and he worked hard to get the ball and not only score, but to be a distributor. The stat that gets lost in his 36-point game against Jefferson Davis last Saturday is that he also had 11 rebounds to go with it.”
Bolden is averaging 26.8 points, shooting 49.8 percent from the field and 86.7 percent from the line, with 4.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals for 20-2 St. Andrew’s this season.
St. Andrew’s plays Senatobia in the semifinals today at 1:30 p.m. at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.
Bolden, who made the first team on the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard All Metro Jackson team last season, averaged 25.9 points and led St. Andrew’s to a 29-6 record and its second 3A state title in the past three years last year. Bolden averaged 33 points in five playoff games. He scored 36 points in the semifinal win over Holly Springs and 25 points in a victory over defending 3A state champion Velma Jackson in the 3A state championship game. He didn’t have a turnover in semifinal or final. He started as a freshman on St. Andrew’s 3A state title team in 2018 and made six straight free throws in the final minute in the championship game.