Tigers give a Wildcats a scare, but not a loss

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Dec. 20, 2000
Opposing coaches all use the same word when talking about the Southeast Lauderdale boys' basketball team: Dangerous.
Veteran Kemper County head man Charles Jackson is no different. And Tuesday night, Jackson watched Southeast give his squad fits.
Behind big efforts from Ben Reed and Jonathan Russell, Southeast built an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter before Kemper stormed back for a 68-63 win over the Tigers.
The win was the fifth in a row for Jackson's Wildcats, who are now 10-4. Southeast fell to 1-14.
Jackson hit it right on the head.
In fact, had it not been for a slow start, the Tigers may have been celebrating their second victory of the year.
Kemper put together a 10-0 run in the first period, forcing Southeast and coach Ryan Miller into a timeout five minutes into the contest.
The visiting Wildcats led by 11 early in the second quarter, only to see Russell put up nine points and help the Tigers back to within 34-30 at halftime.
The third quarter belonged to Reed.
The junior guard knocked down four straight three-pointers, leading Southeast on a scoring barrage that put the Tigers up 51-43 heading into the final quarter.
There, Russell added a three of his own, giving the Tigers their biggest lead of the game at 54-43. But unfortunately for Miller and Southeast, that's where the momentum shifted.
Kemper rallied behind junior guards James Moore and Chris Davis, with Davis nailing down a three-pointer and then taking a dish from Moore for another basket to spark a 13-2 run that tied it at 56-56 with 3:19 left.
The Tigers took their final lead of the game on Reed's sixth three-pointer with 1:43 left. But Davis answered with a bomb at the other end to put Kemper back ahead 63-61 with 1:33 left, and the Wildcats hit 5-of-6 free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.
Davis finished with 19 points and Kendrick Gale scored 14 for Kemper, which also got 11 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots from Kenny Boyd. Moore scored eight and had seven assists, Mario Smoot and Derrick Boyd scored six points apiece and Terrance Westerfield added four assists.
Reed had a game-high 20 points to lead Southeast, and he also had five rebounds and three assists. Russell finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Horner added nine points, eight rebounds and three assists, Doug Rowe scored eight and Lapatrick Carlisle had seven points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who won't play again until January.
Kemper returns to action next week in a boys-only tournament at Philadelphia.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sportswriter for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@themeridianstar.com.