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Kemper rallies past Union

By Staff
UP IN THE AIR n Kemper County's Tamician Davis (15) loses the handle as she drives between Union defenders Frances McDougle (25) and Madison Brantley in the West Lauderdale tournament. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Dec. 8, 2000
After three straight losses, Kemper County boys' basketball coach Charles Jackson inched one victory closer to No. 600 Thursday night.
But he didn't do it the way he planned.
Jackson's Wildcats erased a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter Thursday, when Kemper County rallied past Union 52-51 in the opening night of the West Lauderdale Round-Robin Tournament.
The win was the 599th of Jackson's head coaching career, which is now in its 30th season. It also improved the Wildcats to 6-4 on the year, while Union fell to 6-3.
In the other contest Thursday, Kemper County's girls knocked off Union 51-44. There will be just two games each night after Newton withdrew from the tournament leaving just three schools.
Tonight's action begins at 6 p.m., with Union's girls taking on West Lauderdale. The host Knights then battle Union's boys at 7:30.
Kemper County boys 52, Union 51: The Wildcats scored just 26 points in the first three quarters of action, but exploded for 26 in the final period to take the come-from-behind win.
The game was tied at 13 after one quarter, but Kemper went five minutes without a field goal in the second period and Union carried a 29-20 lead into the locker room at the half.
The Yellow Jackets finished the third quarter with eight straight points, stretching their advantage to 39-26.
In the final quarter, a three-pointer from Mario Smoot and a putback by Gary Griffin got the Wildcats back in it quickly. Griffin's bucket started an 8-0 run by Kemper that pulled the Wildcats within 43-41 with 4:36 left.
Kemper County cut it to one on a three-pointer by Chris Davis, then tied it at 47-47 with 2:44 left on a pair of Davis free throws.
The Wildcats took the lead for the first time since the opening period when Derrick Boyd hit one-of-two free throws with 2:24 left.
The game was tied at 50-50, and Union took its final lead with 17.6 seconds remaining on a single free throw by Doug Wansley. But Kemper moved the ball back down the floor quickly, with RonTerrian Dale being fouled in the lane with 11.1 seconds remaining. Dale sank both freebies, giving the Wildcats the eventual game-winning points.
Union called time out with 8.9 ticks left, but missed a three-point attempt and didn't get off another shot when a pair of Yellow Jackets couldn't get a handle on the loose rebound in the paint.
Coach Ricky Casey saw his squad fall despite putting three players in double figures. Derric Harris scored 13 points, had eight rebounds and three steals, while Wansley scored 12 and had four steals. Chuck Evans scored 10 points and had three assists, Trellis Mason scored six, grabbed 10 rebounds, had three steals and three blocked shots and Quincy Larkin pulled down seven rebounds.
Each team had 18 turnovers, but seven of Union's miscues came in the game's final six minutes.
Kemper was led by Derrick Boyd's 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Davis, Dale and Terrance Westerfield all scored nine points. Davis had three assists and three steals, Westerfield and Kendrick Gale had six boards apiece, Smoot scored eight points and had three assists and Griffin had nine rebounds and four steals.
Kemper County girls 51, Union 44: An 8-0 run by the Lady Wildcats early in the fourth quarter helped lift Kemper County's girls to 2-8 on the season.
Kemper led just 14-13 after one quarter and 22-19 at halftime.
The Lady Wildcats stretched that advantage to nine in the third period before Union pulled within 36-30 heading into the fourth and the Lady Yellow Jackets got within 36-32 on a 12-foot jumper by Marley Smith with 7:48 left in the game.
The 8-0 run by Kemper followed, with the Lady Wildcats going up 44-32 on a putback by Brooke Hudson with 6:12 remaining.
Two free throws by Monique Mosley gave Kemper its biggest lead at 50-37 with 2:23 remaining before the Lady Jackets finished the game on a 7-1 run for the final margin.
Hudson scored a game-high 17 points, pulled down nine rebounds and had four steals to lead Kemper, while Mosley scored 11 points and had three assists. Tamician Davis scored nine points, had six rebounds and five assists, Candra McCoy blocked three shots and had five steals and LaErika Ivy scored five points and yanked down five rebounds.
Union was led by Frances McDougle, who scored 12 points and pulled in nine rebounds. Jerica Hickman added nine points, eight rebounds and four assists, Marley Smith finished with eight points, Lauren White scored five and Jana Smith and Dana Buckley had six rebounds apiece.