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Lady Wildcats break streak with win over Lady Knights

By By Cassie Chance/Special to The Star
Nov. 14, 2001
DEKALB For the past three years, Johnny Rush's Kemper County Lady Wildcats have faced the West Lauderdale Lady Knights, and in all three meetings, Kemper has come up short.
However, thanks to a fourth-quarter rally on Tuesday night, the Lady Wildcats can put that streak behind them. KCHS outscored the Lady Knights 19-12 in the final eight minutes en route to a 67-64 victory.
The West Lauderdale boys rallied to take a 64-61 win over homestanding Kemper County.
Kemper jumped out to the early 7-2 lead only to see West come back and pull within two with just 5:26 remaining in the opening quarter. Then, with 3:22 left on the clock, Cierra Jennings nailed a three-pointer to give West Lauderdale their first lead of the night.
Kemper then rebounded to go on a 5-0 run in the last two minutes to hold a slim 17-16 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Lady Knights began the second half by regaining the lead only to see KCHS come back and go ahead by two. Then, with less than six minutes to go in the half, Shanna Lloyd nailed a jumper off an assist from J.J. Huggins to spark a 5-0 West Lauderdale run.
After Kemper added six points of their own, West Lauderdale once again added five more points on the board to regain the lead. West went into the locker room with a slender 35-34 lead at the intermission.
After the break, J.J. Huggins laid down seven points in a row to extend the West lead to 42-38 with 5:35 left in the third quarter.
Following a jump ball possession with just under five and a half minutes remaining, Kemper rallied on a 7-0 run.
However, West Lauderdale added another seven points before Kemper called a timeout with 2:29 remaining to regroup. After the timeout, Melody Nave drained a three and Kemper fought back to cut the West Lauderdale lead to 51-48 with one quarter of play remaining.
In the fourth quarter, the Lady Wildcats sparked a rally as Stephanie Nicholson and Tamican Davis hit key shots before KCHS took the lead with 1:02 left in the game.
West Lauderdale had two chances to hit shots from the free throw line twice in the final minute but was unable to convert as Kemper took the 67-64 win.
The four missed foul shots in the last minute were just two of 20 that the Lady Knights failed to convert on as they went 9-of-29 from the charity stripe.
West Lauderdale (1-1) was led by Lloyd's 15. Huggins and Kristina Gardner both added 11, while Patty Monroe and Jennings each had 10. West's next match up is Thursday in the Lauderdale County Tournament at Meridian Community College.
Nave led the Lady Wildcats (1-1) with 17. Nicholson and Davis both netted 12. Kemper will host Southeast Lauderdale on Monday.
W. Lauderdale Boys 64
Kemper County 61
If the West Lauderdale Knights had to choose a motto following Tuesday night's match up against Kemper County, Duran Clark's team would have probably come up with a famous quote from the late Jim Valvano, "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."
After trailing for much of the game, West used a fourth quarter comeback to take a slim 64-61 win over the Wildcats in DeKalb.
Kemper jumped onto the board quick and early as the Wildcats held a 10-3 advantage before Chris Davis extended the lead with a three-pointer, which was followed by shots from Kenny Boyd and Ronterrian Dale.
West then got two jumpers from Karlos Lewis to pull closer, however, Kemper took a 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Wildcats continued to add to their growing lead in the second quarter as they nailed key shots to keep the Knights on their toes. West got key shots from Boo Ramsey and Calvin Moore to keep close.
West outscored Kemper in the second quarter by one point, 15-14 but Kemper proved too strong on the inside as they maintained a 34-24 lead at the break.
The Knights' comeback began following the intermission when West stopped KCHS advance with less than five minutes remaining.
After getting shots on the inside during the last minutes, West Lauderdale fought their way back to outscore the Wildcats 21-16 and then cut the Kemper lead to 50-45 with one final period to play.
West tied the game with just 6:43 remaining on a jumper by Ramsey and then took the lead on a goaltending call with 6:27 left on the clock.
Kemper fought back as Kenny Boyd tied the game on a tip-in shot off the rebound with 5:03 remaining.
However, West Lauderdale continued to press, as Ramsey scored eight of the last 10 points. In the end, Ramsey's shot with 1:20 left proved to be the turnaround as it put West up for good in their 64-61 win.
Ramsey led all scorers on the night by netting 31 for the Knights. Griffin led the Wildcats (3-1) with 12. Boyd contributed 11 in the losing effort.
KCHS will host Southeast Lauderdale on Monday. West Lauderdale (1-1) will play Thursday in the Lauderdale County Tournament at MCC.