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Bay Springs boys, Forest girls win Philly tournament

By By Jamey Lanier/The Meridian Star
Dec. 9, 2000
PHILADELPHIA The Forest Lady Bearcats and the Bay Springs Bulldogs took home the hardware in the Philadelphia Invitational Tournament Friday night with Forest taking down the Bay Springs' Lady Bulldogs 54-48 followed by the Bay Springs men downing Philadelphia 53-47 in the nightcap.
Forest girls 54, Bay Springs 48: Forest used the inside play of Sophia Gray and Kelly Boutwell to keep the Lady Bulldogs on their heels for three quarters and Dee Dee Bryant came through with eight points in the fourth quarter to give the Lady Bearcats the championship.
The Lady Bearcats led by six at one point in the first quarter, but Bay Springs cut it to three, with Forest holding on to a 12-9 lead after the first quarter.
Forest coach Luke Gibbon, whose team moved to 8-5 on the year, was happy to get out with the win.
Trailing 35-26 with three minutes left in the third quarter, Bay Springs went to the full-court press and forced the Lady Bearcats to turn the ball over and narrow the gap to 35-32 at the end of the third quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs got within one late in the game when Karen Clayton hit back-to-back baskets, but Bryant answered with three unanswered baskets to secure the win.
Boutwell led Forest with 17 points, followed by Patsy McKee with eight.
Clayton paced Bay Springs with 19, while teammate Kristi Martin had 12.
Bay Springs boys 53, Philadelphia 47: Bay Springs coach Ronald Norman knew coming into the championship game with Philadelphia that his team would need a spark, and the spark was named Jason Fort.
The junior scored 27 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead his team to victory.
The Tornadoes jumped out to a 17-10 lead after one quarter after a 9-2 run to close out the quarter.
That's when the spark turned to a full-blown fire, as Fort scored eight unanswered points to give the Bulldogs a 20-19 lead with 4:42 to play in the first half.
Both teams swapped leads the rest of the second quarter, but Claude Prewitt scored five points to answer Tornado baskets, and give his team a 27-24 lead at the half.
Both teams battled through the third quarter and Philadelphia tied the score at 40 after the third quarter.
Fort started the fourth quarter off with a steal and a dunk, and teammate Henry Curry hit two big baskets to help the Bulldogs hold off a late Philadelphia rally.
Fort led all scorers with 27 followed by Jason Norris' 8.
Philadelphia was led by Rashawn Hill and Keith Houston with 12 points each.
Neshoba Central girls 63, Philadelphia 50: The Lady Rockets beat Philadelphia for the second time this year with the consolation game victory.
Neshoba trailed 20-17 after a quarter before rallying to take a 34-28 lead into halftime. The Lady Rockets were up 49-36 by the end of the third period.
Neshoba, 7-4, got 18 points from Elyse Willis and 11 each from Sunny Singleton and Miranda Rosar.
Philadelphia, 5-7, got 18 points from Danielle Jones, 13 from Mary Shannon, and 11 from Kedria Watson.
Neshoba Central boys 45, Forest 42: The Rockets got 22 points from Tawon Walker as they eased past Forest in the consolation game to improve to 9-3.
The Bearcats, 5-7, were led by Paul Brown's 19 points.
Neshoba led 12-6 after one quarter and took a 21-16 lead into halftime.