Youth is served at West Lauderdale
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Feb. 7, 2001
It may have been "Senior Night" at West Lauderdale Tuesday, but as has been the case most of this season, it was a coming-out party for the Knights' sophomores.
West Lauderdale 10th-graders Calvin Moore, Boo Ramsey and Karlos Lewis combined for 59 points Tuesday, leading the Knights to an attention-demanding 68-48 win over rival Kemper County in a Division 5-3A showdown.
The West win created a first-place tie in the division race between the Knights, Wildcats and Velma Jackson Falcons who should get the top seed in next week's 5-3A Tournament at Southeast. West Lauderdale will be the No. 2 seed and Kemper No. 3.
The Lady Knights were also victorious, setting the stage for a sweep with an easy 71-41 win over Kemper.
West's teams are now done until the division tournament, while Kemper County wraps up its regular-season with non-division tilts at Northeast Lauderdale Friday.
West Lauderdale boys 68, Kemper County 48: The Knights have been playing better, but there's no way head coach Duran Clark could have expected the performance he got Tuesday night.
Clark watched both teams more or less feel one another out during a first half that ended with Kemper on top 26-24.
But a 3-pointer from Ramsey and a steal and layup by Lewis pushed the Knights ahead 41-36 heading into the final quarter, where West was red-hot.
The Knights opened the period with a 13-0 run, including another steal and layup by Lewis and an old-fashioned three-point play from Moore.
Kemper finally broke its scoring drought with a 3-pointer from Mario Smoot, but the Wildcats never got any closer than 14 points in the game's final six minutes.
Kemper turned the ball over 23 times, including 14 miscues in the second half.
Still, the Wildcats got 15 points and eight rebounds from Kenny Boyd and six points apiece from Smoot, Chris Davis and RonTerrian Dale. Derrick Boyd had eight rebounds and Kendrick Benneman four assists.
Moore pumped in a game-high 28 points and had nine rebounds for West, while Ramsey scored 25 points to go with 10 rebounds and three steals. Lewis threw in six points and had a game-high seven steals and four assists, while Van Wilson also scored six points.
West Lauderdale girls 71, Kemper County 41: The visiting Lady Wildcats stayed in this one for a half behind the hot shooting of Monique Mosley, who scored 16 of her team's 22 points in the first half.
But West Lauderdale coach Jody Hurst changed defenses in the third period, and the result was a 26-0 run to open the quarter and help push the Lady Knights ahead 60-23 going into the final eight minutes.
Hurst had 12 of his 13 players score in the contest, including J.J. Huggins, who led the balanced attack with 11 points all of them in the first half.
Shannon Lloyd scored 10 for the Lady Knights, Cierra Jennings and Patty Monroe scored nine points apiece, Julie McCrory scored eight and Kristina Gardner had seven also getting all of hers before halftime. West Lauderdale is now 21-9 overall and 3-3 in division play, and the Lady Knights should be the No. 4 seed in the upcoming division tourney.
Kemper County fell to 5-22 and 1-5 and is the No. 6 seed, despite a game-high 26 points from Mosley who hit four 3-pointers. She also had seven rebounds and four steals.
Candra McCoy yanked down 18 rebounds for Kemper, while Megan Grace had five steals and Erika White chipped in eight points.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.