Kemper County's Jackson gets No. 600
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Dec. 10, 2000
Kemper County boys basketball coach Charles Jackson received a host of congratulations shortly after his team beat West Lauderdale 63-56 to earn the championship of the West Invitational Tournament Saturday night.
He even took a couple of shots from his friends.
The win was the 600th of Jackson's career, earning the 30-year coaching veteran a few pats on the back.
And West did shoot it. The Knights connected on 14 three-pointers, including seven in a row during one stretch.
In the end, however, it wasn't enough to keep Kemper from improving to 7-4 on the season.
Jackson is now 600-252 in his 30th year overall. His boys' teams at Kemper County High School have a 239-100 record in a little more than 10 seasons. Jackson also won 361 games coaching the girls' teams at East Kemper for 19 years.
In Saturday night's game, Jackson's team got three baskets from Kenny Boyd and a pair of three-pointers from Chris Davis for a 20-13 lead after one quarter, then got three's from Mario Smoot and Kendrick Gale as they pushed their lead to 38-27 at halftime.
Kemper took its biggest lead of the night at 42-27 eight seconds into the third quarter. But for the next four minutes, West put on a long-range shooting clinic.
Including a bomb by Karlos Lewis just before the first half ended, West eventually hit on seven consecutive three-pointers. Duran Clark's squad hit six straight in the third during a 20-2 run that gave the Knights a 47-44 lead with 3:09 on the clock.
Kemper did score with back-to-back buckets from 6-foot-7 Kenny Boyd to re-take a 48-47 lead going into the fourth quarter. Then, the Wildcats got a three from Davis and five points from Boyd in a 10-0 run to open the fourth period and push their lead to 11.
The long-range well went dry for West in the final quarter. In fact, when West hit the final of its seven straight three's, it made the Knights 13-of-18 from three-point land. West finished 14-of-29 after missing 10 of its final 11 bombs.
The one three West did get came from Lewis and cut Kemper's lead to 60-56 with 1:29 remaining. But the Knights wouldn't score again and Kemper hit three-of-four freebies in the final 16 seconds to seal the win.
Lewis and Calvin Moore scored 16 points apiece for West, which fell to 7-9 despite turning the ball over just eight times in the game. Chuck Brewer scored eight points and Boo Ramsey scored six. Moore had a game-high five steals, Lewis had three and Lewis, Moore, Ramsey and Brewer all had three assists.
Kenny Boyd's 26 points and 10 rebounds were both game-highs, and Davis finished with 13 points for Kemper. Gale scored seven points, grabbed nine rebounds and had four assists, Kendrick Benneman had six rebounds and six assists, Terrance Westerfield handed out five assists and Derrick Boyd grabbed eight rebounds.
Kemper County outrebounded West 41-23 in the contest.
The Knights and Wildcats battle again Tuesday in DeKalb.