NP Cougars v Senatobia
By Donna Taylor
Tuesday night, the North Panola boys came off the block firing and connecting in the first few minutes of the game against Senatobia with a lead of 5-0.
Just as North Panola (15-7 overall, 2-0 district) came out, Senatobia retaliated, scoring four unanswered points to make it 5-4 for the Cougars in this all-important district matchup.
Bruce Wilbourn came roaring back, and the Cougars went on a tear. They scored basket after basket, but an unfavorable foul called on North Panola drew loud boos from the sellout crowd.
The Cougar player was charged with a blocking foul, but the crowd thought it should have been a charge.
“The boys are working extremely hard. I have some great leadership,” said Cougar head coach Chris Yancy. “Everybody is producing and we are hitting our stride this year.”
That stride included Rico Young stealing an inbound pass and scoring. A blocked shot by Wilbourn was a crowd pleaser, making the score 12-7 at the end of the first quarter.
North Panola missed a series of shots until Young stole the ball again and buried a three. Rodriquez Thomas warmed up and began to shrink threes from the corner. He finished the night with 17 points including five three-pointers, two assists and one rebound.
Young continued his pick-pocketing of the Warriors and their ball possession. At this point, the Cougars lead 25-20 with 1:39 left in the first half. Chants from the crowd, “Put Temp in the game!” were answered as Templeton Hardy walked onto the court. He attempted a basket but it did not fall. The Cougars led 29-22 at halftime.
At the end of the third quarter, Thomas sank a three as the buzzer sounded for the 50-33 third quarter score.
North Panola cruised to a 64-49 victory as the Warriors proved to be no competition in this game.
“Our motto this year is execute,” said Yancy.
And execute they did after they finished with a strong victory over Senatobia.
Other scorers included Wilbourn who registered a double-double, 12 points, 12 total rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals.
Also scoring were Young, 14 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 block , four steals; Aldrick Russell, 4 points, 2 assists, 1 steal; Dexter Robinson, 4 points, 3 assists, 1 rebound; Darius Loveberry, 7 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Hardy, 4 points, 2 rebounds; and Tyrus Mack, 2 points.
Basketball is one of the top sports at North Panola. Fans seem to be unlimited. With the fire codes, fans are being turned away at the door. Some fans even rushed the door when the opportunity presented itself, but were quickly escorted out.
Despite some fans not being able to watch the game, coach Yancy thanked the fans for their support.