SP teams fall in first round of district
By Brad Greer
It is tough to win the Kentucky Derby by going up against thoroughbreds when all you have are show horses.
Despite having two starters out with the flu, the South Panola Tigers gave defending Class 6A champion Columbus Falcons everything it wanted and more – for a half – but eventually ran out of gas as a strong second half performance gave the Falcons a 70-52 victory in Tuesday’s opening round game of the District 2-6A tournament at Columbus.
The loss drops South Panola (9-8) into today’s do-or-die consolation game versus Hernando at 5:30 p.m. with the winner advancing to next week’s North State tournament where they will travel to face the Murrah/Warren Central winner Tuesday with a time yet to be determined.
Columbus (16-11) came out of the gate on fire by racing to a 14-4 lead before consecutive three-pointers by Terriance Jackson and Shaquille Jackson ignited a 17-4 surge by South Panola to give the Tigers a 21-17 advantage after one quarter of play.
Kendricus Carlton paced South Panola with 22 points which included 12 in the first period. Robert Woodard led Columbus and all scorers with 29 points.
Shaquille Jackson knocked down a long jumper extending the Tiger advantage to 28-23 before Columbus took the lead for good with a late 12-3 run. Carlton’s front end of a one-and-one-free throw opportunity in the final seconds closed the Falcon margin to 35-34 at intermission.
Columbus began to gradually pull away in the third quarter thanks in part to Woodard’s 12 points on three dunks and a key three-pointer from Dorian Brewer which gave the home team a 53-46 lead.
The Falcons turned up the defensive pressure in the fourth quarter by holding South Panola to six points on one field goal. Columbus took its largest lead of the game at 65-48 on a Woodard one-handed jam with 2:50 remaining in the contest.
South Panola shot 44 percent (17-of-38) from the field and 15-for-27 at the free throw line but hurt themselves with 20 turnovers. Columbus in turn was 18-of-38 at the charity stripe and 23-of-40 in field goals.
Terriance Jackson followed Carlton with nine points while Ketrell Key and Shaquille Jackson added five each. Matt Burchfield chipped in with four points while Markevious Vaughn and Nick Porter garnered two points each. Robert Hentz and Jaylen Heffner closed out scoring with one point each.
Tupelo (girls)-75 South Panola-49
Tracie Benson poured in a season-high 17 points for the Lady Tigers, but it wasn’t enough as South Panola fell into the consolation game after falling hard to No. 8 ranked and top seeded Tupelo.
South Panola (10-14) will take on Hernando, a 46-33 loser to Columbus, at 4 p.m. today for the third place spot.
A Tiger victory would send them to the North State playoffs where they will visit the Murrah/ Warren Central winner Monday with a time yet to be determined.
The first half saw both teams go back and forth as a late second half surge gave Tupelo (23-5) a 37-28 lead at halftime.
The Golden Wave grabbed a 20-13 lead early in the second quarter before South Panola went on a 7-0 run behind Chloe Morgan’s three-point play and baskets by Benson knotted the game at 20-20 at the 5:22 mark.
The Lady Tigers took a brief 25-24 lead on Sydney Morgan’s three- ball from the right corner with 3:18 left in the half.
Tupelo then went on 13-3 spurt to close out the half as Jalancia Kohlheim connected on a pair of three’s sandwiched between baskets by Randasia Crayton and Chemya Carouthers.
Chole Morgan chipped in with eight points followed by six from her older sister Sydney. Tamye Williams provided five points while Marshla Doyle and Sedria Joy adding four each. Breanna Johnson finished with three points and Breanna Bland garnered two.