NP basketball boys
By Brad Greer
The North Panola boys basketball team has never met a three-point shot they did not like, or take.
Thursday night, the Cougars were throwing up shots from downtown Sardis as they connected on nine three-pointers in route to a 70-53 win over Charleston at home in the “Cougar Den.”
With the victory, North Panola extended their win streak to six games after starting the season at 0-3 while Charleston fell to 3-5 on the year. The Cougars also took the first meeting of the season between the two schools 83-67 back on November, 13.
Sophomore guard Rodriguez Thomas led North Panola with 17 points, 15 of which came from beyond the three point line. Marico Young followed with 14 points while Aldrick Russell and Dexter Roberson contributed 12 and 11 points each as nine Cougars got in the scoring column. Bruce Wilbourn added eight while Templeton Hardy scored three points. Curtis Arnold and Cortez Hibbler both had a bucket while freshman Brandon Bagwell added a freethrow.
Charleston could not keep up with the Cougars up-tempo style of play and aggressive defense as the Cougars’ jumped out to a 19-6 lead in the first quarter on a Thomas three pointer. The Tigers closed the gap by going on a 7- 0 run to end the first period.
North Panola built up its largest lead of the second quarter at 25-13 after consecutive treys by Roberson and Thomas, but Charleston countered with eight straight points, six of which came from Jerry Richardson, to cut the lead to 25-21 with 3:21 left before halftime.
The Cougars answered back with a three-pointer by Russell and a jumper from Wilbourn to take a 33-27 lead at intermission.North Panola shot 41 percent from the floor in the game while Charleston was 21-of-42 for 50 percent. The Tigers were only 1- for- 8 from three point land.
“Tonight I really wanted to slow our style of play down a little bit because early on our shots were not falling and I wanted to get into our half- court game, but that’s our style. We like to get the ball and push the ball up the court and go,” said head coach Chris Yancy.
The homestanding Cougars took control in the fourth quarter by hitting on nine-of-15 shots from the free throw nine including seven combined from Roberson and Young.
“Marico had a good game tonight, he is our floor general. I can’t say enough about him. He has come a long way and he knows how to handle the ball and we looking for him in a leadership role,” said Yancy.
North Panola travels to Olive Branch today and will return home Friday against Coldwater starting at 5 p.m with the JV boys game.