Published 12:00 am Monday, February 29, 2016

Late shooting by North Panola’s Demetrick Porter helped lift the Cougars over Kossuth in the first round of 3A North playoffs Tuesday. The Cougars will travel to play Humphreys County in Belzoni tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the second round. The Panolian photo by Ike House

No. 4 NP Cougars upset No. 1 Kossuth Aggies

By Ike House
The No. 4 seed North Panola Cougars went northeast and upset the No. 1 seed Kossuth Aggies in the first round of 3A North playoffs Tuesday night 65-63.
The win advanced the Cougars (11-14) to the second round of playoffs against Humphreys County in Belzoni tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Humphreys (18-12 overall) is Region 3’s No. 2 seeded team who defeated North Pontotoc 78-35 Wednesday night.
The game was delayed due to bad weather activity in the area Tuesday night.
North Panola 65, Kossuth 63
A basket from Jamarcus Jones gave the Cougars a one-point lead, 64-63, with six seconds left in the game. Jones’ free throw with three seconds to go gave the Cougars breathing room, but the Cougars still had to be on their toes  due tp the three-point threat Kossuth presented.
The Cougars were down by five going into the fourth quarter, 45-40 but scored 25 points in the final quarter, 12 from three-point land, to take the win.
North Panola tied the game at 60-60 with under a minute to go on a three-pointer by Demetrick Porter, who was ice cold shooting during the first three quarters.
After the shot Porter got a steal on the inbound and forced another three but missed and Kossuth went down and hit another three-pointer to go back up.
Finding a rhythm was a problem for the Cougars in the first. The Aggies were disciplined and effective with an elite three-point shot.
The Cougars tried different approaches to their offense from behind the arc to in the paint. Jones was their point outlet as he grabbed rebounds and scored eight second chance points in the first quarter. The Cougars went into the second quarter down 21-11.
The second quarter brought on more scoring from the Cougars. Vennis Mills and Jones carried the offense combining  for 10 of the 16 second quarter points but the Cougars’ defense was not effective against Kossuth’s fast paced offense. The Cougars tried to press the Aggies to force turnovers but that did not work as the Aggies were prepared for that type of defense and employed the counter offense.
At the half, Kossuth led 36-27.
After the half the Cougars changed to a man defense. Their aggressive style helped the Cougars get back into the game as it held the Aggies to nine points.
Leading the Cougars was Jones with 24 points, 13 rebounds, one block and a steal, followed by Mills with 15 points and three rebounds and Porter with 10 points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist.
Other scorers include Darrell Young, six points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal; Kenneth Jefferson, four points, two rebounds; Mario Fenner Jr., two points, one rebound; and Tremayne Madlock, two points.

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