NP Cougars 2/12/13

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The North Panola basketball team finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 district record while recording its first 20-win season since 1987. Team members, managers and coaches include (front row, l. to r.) Michael Miller, Darrius Jackson, Ketawan House, Gerotney Kelson, manager Brandon Farmer, Quin Jones, manager Cedquavious Hunter, Demetrick Porter, manager Kenneth Jefferson; (back) head coach Chris Yancy, Quintez Perry, Anjayvious Farmer, Robert Oliver, Devonte Howard, Bremarkwon Bobo,

Cougars finish season undefeated in district

By Brad Greer

While winning a district championship on its own is difficult enough, going through a tough district slate undefeated is almost impossible.

But thanks in part to five players in double figure scoring, the North Panola Cougars capped off a perfect 10-0 record in Region 3-3A play with an 87-42 blowout victory over Independence Friday night at a jampacked Cougar Den.

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The victory is the first time since 1987 North Panola has captured a 20-win season. North Panola (20-7) now sets its sights on a post-season championship by hosting the Region 3-3A tournament starting today and ending with the title game Friday night.

At a district meeting Saturday morning, North Panola head coach Chris Yancy was surprised as he was voted district coach-of-the-year.

The Cougars received a first-round bye and will take on the Independence/Palmer winner Thursday night at 8:30 in the  semi-final round. (See complete schedule on B3).

With an all-senior starting lineup, North Panola wasted little time gaining the upper hand on Independence by jumping out to a 26-11 advantage after one quarter of play.

The Cougars quickly broke open an early 6-6 tie by going on a 12-2 spurt as junior Darrius Jackson swished his first of four three-pointers of the night for an 18-8 North Panola lead.

Robert Oliver and Ketawon House added a pair of baskets to expand the margin to 26-11 in the closing seconds of the quarter.

Independence used an 8-0 run to trim the North Panola lead to 26-19 midway through the second quarter, but that would be as close as the ‘Cats would get as the Cougars answered with a JaAnthony Wright layup followed by Demetrick Porter’s trey for a 31-21 lead.

Things began to get out of hand from that point on as House added five straight points followed by Devonte Howard’s jumper that gave North Panola  a 38-21 advantage.

House accounted for all of his 14 points in the first half as the junior guard added seven rebounds and four assists. Jackson also chipped in with 14 points on five-of-seven shooting from the floor.

North Panola took a 50-27 lead at halftime and led by as mush as 36 points in the second half.

Sophomore Gerotney Kelson, who was voted the district’s MVP, followed  Jackson with 11 points while Porter and Quintarious Jones added 10 each.

Anjayvious Farmer contributed with six points while Terrance Kirkwood, Howard and BreMarkwon Bobo supplied four points. George Newson, Kier Washington, Oliver and Wright rounded out scoring with two points each.

North Panola (girls)- 50
Independence -42

The Lady Cougars erased a 26-21 halftime deficit to take a 50-42 victory to secure a third place finish in district standings behind league champion Charleston and Byhalia.

Sophomore Onesha Hunt paved the way with 14 points to go along with nine rebounds and three steals as the Lady Cougars outscored Independence 18-12 in the third quarter to take a 39-34 lead into the final stanza.

Takymdris Clay spurred the second half rally by nailing a three-pointer with 4:49 left in the third. Back-to-back baskets by Daryleshia Ward tied the game at 30. Candance Mottley gave North Panola the lead for good  at 33-30  by nailing a trey at the 4:10 mark.

From there it was all North Panola as the home team led by as many as 13 points with under three minutes remaining in the game.

Mottley registered 12 points and two steals while Ward followed with eight points and eight rebounds. Clay also added eight points and two assists.

Audrea Taylor and Kiana Willingham each had four points as the Cougars improved to 14-11 on the season and 6-4 in district.

North Panola will square off against Palmer at 7 p.m. tonight.