North State Tournaments

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 20, 2009

Panola teams lose in first round of north state tournaments

By Myra Bean, Brad Greer and Angie Ledbetter

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High school basketball in Panola County has comes to an end.

The three teams that were left lost in the first round of north state action this week.

NP Lady Cougars

The 3-3A district champion North Panola Lady Cougars (16-11) lost 49-45 to 1-3A No. 4 Ripley Lady Tigers. The game was literally decided by who converted free throws. North Panola was 24 percent from the charity stripe while Ripley converted 76 percent of its tries.

Ripley’s Meisha Strong converted 15 of the Lady Tigers’ 21 free throws to lead her team to victory.

It was a neck-and-neck game throughout as the Lady Cougars had the advantage at halftime, 20-19.

In the third quarter, Ripley took a slight lead, but Lady Cougar point guard Catonya Newsom tied the game at 28 at the buzzer.

In the final quarter, Ripley led by as many as nine/as the Lady Cougars tried to play catch up, but missed free throws squashed their opportunity.

Brittany Patton was leading scorer for the Lady Cougars with 17 points, followed by Newsom with 10. Jenisha Jackson scored nine points, had six blocks, while Shaveeta Gordon rounded out scoring with six.

Strong led all scorers with 23.The district runner-up Rosa Fort and third place team Senatobia both won Monday night. Fourth place Holly Springs lost to Alcorn Central.

SP Tigers

The South Panola Tigers’ season came to an end against No. 6 ranked Provine 58-37 Tuesday night. South Panola was without a top scoring members as Quen Robinson did not make the trip after an incident involving a school official following Friday’s loss to Starkville in the district championship game.

Monday the Tigers (18-8) struggled from field goal range. Rico Keys led the Tigers with and was the only Tiger to score double figures. Glen Collins of Provine was the leading scorer with 20.

South Panola was in a hole throughout the game as Provine was up 15-6 after the first quarter and 32-12 at the half.

Scoring was more even in the second half, but the Tigers could not recover from the deficit. In the third both teams scored 14 points but in the final quarter, Provine edged South Panola 12-11.

In a battle of the ranked teams, No. 5 Greenville (4-5A No. 2 team) defeated No. 8 Starkville (2-5A champ) 53-52 in a tightly contested battle of wills. The game was tied 29 at the half. A field goal lead by Greenville held off Starkville in the final quarter.

NP Cougars

The Cougars (11-17) placed fourth in the district and drew the Region 1-3A district champion Corinth Warriors (27-4) in the first round of the north state tournament. It took the Warriors almost four quarters to end the Cougar season with a 98-80 win Tuesday.

It was a competitive game in the first half. Corinth won the first quarter 24-15, but the Cougars rallied in the second out scoring Corinth 28-21. At the half Corinth had a slight lead, 45-43. It was close again in the third quarter as Corinth barely out scored the Cougars 19-15, but the lead was six at the end of the quarter, 64-58 Corinth. Corinth totally blew past the Cougars in the fourth with the teams putting up 56 points together with Corinth leading 34-22 for the win.

Four Cougars scored in double figures with team leading scorer senior Aldrick Russell, 17 points, followed by Kiwanis Bobo, 14; Darius Lovebery, 12 and senior Rodriquez Thomas, 10. Other Cougar scorers include Ricky Hunt, 6; Cortez Hibbler and Brandon Bagwell, 5 each; Cameron Shorty, 4; and Curtis Arnold, 2.

Game leading scorers from Corinth were L. Scruggs, 29, followed by Deonta Herman, 24.

Holly Springs lost to Ripley Tuesday night. Rosa Fort and Senatobia advanced to the second round.