Quitman holds for win over Noxubee County
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Dec. 12, 2000
The Quitman Panthers worked hard for more than three quarters to pull away from the Noxubee County Tigers Monday afternoon.
Then, as Quitman head coach Steve Hampton put it: "We did our best to let them back in it."
Quitman overcame seven turnovers in the game's final six minutes, holding off Noxubee's boys 72-60 in the first game of the 2000 Frazier-Yarbrough Memorial Coca-Cola Classic at Meridian High School.
Monday's other opening-round games saw the Choctaw Central girls down Quitman 76-50 and the Meridian boys coast past Choctaw Central 81-47.
Tonight's Frazier-Yarbrough action begins at 4:30 p.m. when Heidelberg and Northeast Lauderdale square off in a girls' contest. Clarkdale and Heidelberg meet in a boys' game at 6 p.m. and Noxubee County's girls take on Clarkdale at 7:30 p.m. all at Meridian High.
Quitman boys 72, Noxubee County 60: The Panthers used some hot shooting early from Jason Pearson to grab the lead for good.
Pearson's back-to-back three-pointers late in the first quarter put Quitman ahead 15-12, and although the game was tight throughout, the Panthers never trailed again.
The contest was tied twice in the second quarter and Quitman led 31-29 at halftime. But the Panthers opened the third quarter with seven straight points, and later got two more three-pointers from Pearson to stretch their lead to double digits.
Quitman was up by as many as 14 early in the fourth before back-to-back turnovers by the Panthers and a three-pointer from Noxubee's Terrance Boykin pulled the Tigers within eight with 3:33 left.
That was as close as the 8-8 Tigers got the rest of the way.
Noxubee was led by Reginald Roby's 16 points, six rebounds and four steals, while Johnathan Brandy scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots. Obryant Brandy scored 11 and grabbed six rebounds and Omar Conner scored eight. Conner and Tamoris King had five assists and four steals apiece.
Pearson connected on his first five three-point attempts and finished with 19 points for Quitman, which was led by David Laphand's 21 points and seven rebounds. Lorenzo White added 10 points, Renaldo McKenzie scored six, Marcus Evans had six rebounds and Marcus McCormick handed out four assists.
The Panthers will meet Northeast Lauderdale, which got a bye in the tourney, in Thursday's 5:30 p.m. boys' semifinal. Noxubee, which now gets a bye in the losers' bracket, won't play again until the 5:30 p.m. consolation final Friday at MHS.
Choctaw Central girls 76, Quitman 50: Judy Morgan's Lady Panthers did their best to stay with the second-seeded Lady Warriors before Choctaw Central wore down Quitman in the second half.
Quitman was down just two points after one quarter and was within four points in the early stages of the third quarter. But Chantay Frazier and Ferne Denson got hot and Choctaw Central coasted the rest of the way.
Frazier scored nine points in the third period as Choctaw pushed its lead to 15, and Denson swished a pair of long-range bombs and wound up with all 12 of her points in the second half.
Crystal Lewis led the 11-1 Lady Warriors with 20 points. Frazier scored 13 and Denson 12, while Deaundrea Johnson and Melinda Ben put in eight apiece.
Shaquilla Mack led Quitman with 11, while Kemonica McGee and Takeisha Bonner had nine points apiece.
Choctaw Central moves into a 4 p.m. girls' semifinal Thursday against the winner of today's Noxubee County/Clarkdale game. Quitman plays Thursday at 6 p.m. at Meridian Community College in a consolation game.
Meridian High boys 81, Choctaw Central 47: The Wildcats had their way with a short-handed bunch of Warriors.
Meridian, now 10-4, rolled to a 22-5 lead after one quarter with a pair of thundering dunks from Jeremy Ruffin. MHS led 43-20 at halftime.
Ruffin was one of five MHS players to score six points, joining Ricky McMillian, E.J. Watson, Jason Windom and Robert Williams. Jamaine Winfield's 17 points were a team-high, while Quadrick Griffin and Fred Cole scored seven each.
Choctaw Central, which dressed out just seven players, fell to 2-9 despite a game-high 19 points from Tony Garcia. The Warriors were without five regulars and starting point guard Beasley Willis, who was nursing an injured ankle.
Braden Sam added nine, Corey Sam scored eight and Tyler Williamson threw in seven for the Warriors, who will play Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in a losers' bracket game at MCC.
Meridian will see its next action Thursday at 8:30 p.m. in a semifinal contest against the winner of today's Heidelberg/Clarkdale matchup.