NP Basketball

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 5, 2009

NP Cougars run into Coldwater brick wall

By Brad Greer

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

North Panola ran into a “Major” problem in the opening  game of the Northwest Holiday Classic Monday morning at Senatobia High School.

Coldwater’s Dominick Major put on a scoring display as the 6-foot-5 senior guard scored 15 of his gamehigh 37 points in the third quarter to help guide Coldwater to a 86-78 victory. With the loss, North Panola fell to 7-9 on the season while Coldwater improved to 8-6 on the year.

“We turned the ball over quite often including several times in the first quarter. What hurt us the most is how well they rebounded and then they started running on us,” said North Panola head coach Leroy Boyd. “Another key factor was our free throw shooting, we missed way too many opportunities at the line. We were down five points at halftime and had missed three out of 10 foul shots in the first half.“

After taking a 36-31 lead at intermission, Coldwater came out smoking in the second half outscoring the Cougars 30-17 in the third quarter. Major’s break away dunk and a pair of baskets by Jeremy Johnson gave Coldwater a 42-31 advantage with less than two minutes gone in the quarter. The lead grew to as many as 22 points later in the third period before North Panola made things interesting.

The Cougars cut the deficit to 12 points late  in the fourth quarter on a Darius Loveberry layup to make the score 77-65 with 3:16 remaining. Aldrick Russell’s jumper in the lane with 1:40 left to play dwindled the Coldwater lead to 81-74, but that would be as far as the Cougars would get  as Nick Coppage scored on a layup followed by a Major slam dunk with less than a minute to play to put an exclamation point on the game.

North Panola shot 45 (33-of-72) percent from the floor in the game but were only 8-of-20 from the charity stripe. Coldwater meanwhile was only not that much better from the line, connecting only 13-of-33 shots while turning the ball over 21 times. Coldwater made 35- of-63 from the floor for 55 percent.

The first half was mostly nip and tuck as both teams ran up and down the floor in a fast-paced game. Coldwater took a 13-11 lead after the first quarter then scored the first six points of the second period on a flying one-handed jam by Major and a pair of buckets by Jeremy Scott for a 19-11 lead. Ricky Hunt’s eight points in the quarter pulled North Panola within two at 28-25 with two minutes remaining.

Kiwanis Bobo led the way for North Panola with 19 points while Rodriques Thomas and Hunt followed with 15 and 11 each. Curtis Arnold added nine while Russell chipped in with eight points. Cortez Hibbler and Loveberry rounded out the scoring with six points to go along with Wayne Miller adding a basket.