North Panola’s playoff run ends in quarterfinals

Published 10:49 pm Tuesday, March 1, 2022

North Panola’s quest for a trip to the Mississippi Coliseum AKA the ‘Big House’ came to a disheartening end as the Cougars fell 61-57 to Booneville in front of 600-plus fans at the Cougar Den Saturday night in Sardis.

  North Panola (26-6) trailed 53-45 with 4:41 left in the game before Den’quarrious Robinson’s three pointer gave the Cougars a 56-54 lead at the 2:37 mark.The Blue Devils regained the lead  at 58-56 on a L.J. Shumpert driving layup. With North Panola having to foul, Kedrick Simmons sank a pair of free throws to make the score 60-57 with 34 seconds remaining.

  The Cougars then hustled down the floor and launched a potential game-tying three pointer that was off the mark. Booneville’s Landon Brown pulled down the rebound and was quickly fouled with nine seconds left. Brown, a senior, hit one of two free throws to send the Blue Devils to Jackson and into the state semi-finals.

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  North Panola fell behind 15-9 late in the first quarter but closed the gap with the two field goals to trail 15-13. Booneville began to pull away as the second quarter got underway and led 31-23 at intermission. The Blue Devils led twice by eight points in the third quarter but could not shake North Panola who rallied on two occasions.

  Cedquavious Hunter ended his stellar North Panola career with 22 points despite fouling out with 1:54 remaining in the game. Hunter was held to five points in the first half but heated up with 17 points in the second half. Robinson followed with 15 points while Tony Davis,Jr. provided 11 points. J.J. Harrell finished with six points. Jakeen Bowdrey and Ferenzo Cannon had two points each with Dee Brown finishing with one point.    

Photo: North Panola’s Cedquavious Hunter  drives past a Water Valley defender in a first round playoff game. Hunter wrapped up a tremendous high school career last Saturday, and will enter the University of California at Bakersfield this summer where he will continue his basketball career playing for former Ole Miss star and head coach Rod Barnes. (Glennie Pou)