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Rebels hold on to win over Kemper Academy

By By Cassie Chance/Special to The Star
Nov. 16, 2001
DEKALB Russell Cruise's Kemper Academy Lady Rams opened their 2001 season on Thursday night in DeKalb. Kemper faced a tough and determined Leake Academy team.
The game was kept close by both sides throughout the night, but in the end it was the Lady Rebels pulling out a narrow 59-57 victory over the home team.
"I thought it was a pretty good comeback for us. We were in some foul trouble the whole time. I think we ended the game with one starter in. It was a real big win for us. We needed it," Leake head coach Doyle Wolverton said.
Leake wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard as Kristin Caldwell hit two jumpers within 20 seconds of each other before Kemper's Blair Johnson hit one-of-two from the free throw line to give the Lady Rams their first point of the night.
With 2:02 remaining in the first quarter, Kemper had cut the Lady Rebels' lead from three to one; however, after Caldwell converted one-of-two from the line, and B.J. Helton nailed a three and added a field goal to give Leake a 14-7 lead after eight minutes of play.
Kemper rebounded in the second quarter and roared back to tie the game at 15 with less than six minutes before the intermission. Then, with 4:39 left until the half, Kayla Mosley hit one-of-two free throws on a double bonus to give the Lady Rams their first lead of the night.
KA added to their lead before Helton hit a three pointer with less than two minutes remaining before halftime to give the lead back to the Lady Rebels.
Jessica Harpole answered Helton's three with one of her own to put the Lady Rams up. Kemper took a slim 25-23 lead into the locker room at the half.
After the break, Kemper banged in more points before Helton hit another three to tie the game with 6:50 remaining in the third quarter. KA came back to take the lead again with 5:13 remaining when Megan Whitaker hit a short jumper.
Helton gave the winning advantage back to the Lady Rebels by hitting another three with 4:39 left in the quarter and hit her fifth three pointer of the night less than a minute later. Leake took a 44-38 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of play.
The fourth quarter proved to be exciting and nerve-wracking for both teams. Kemper scored first in the final period when Murphy hit a jumper to cut the Lady Rebels' lead to just four. However, Caldwell, Helton, and Laurin Gross all nailed key shots to keep Leake ahead. After a Lady Rebel timeout with just 5:32 remaining in the game, KA rallied to come back and tie the game when Murphy nailed one free throw in a double bonus with 2:14 remaining.
With 1:40 left in the game, Leake called another timeout and then regained their lead when Gross hit both free throws. Johnson tied the game for Kemper when she hit a jumper and was fouled with 1:09 left, but she was unable to hit the free throw to give the Lady Rams the lead. Anya Dickerson hit one free throw with 1:06 remaining to put Leake in the lead. Then, with eight seconds left, Tracy Harrell hit one-of-two free throws to seal the Lady Rebel's 59-57 victory.
Leake's Helton lead all scorers with 26 points, while Caldwell and Gross both added 11.
"We played a more experienced team,"said KA head coach, Russell Cruise. "We missed too many shots from the line and layups. I'm really proud of my girls. I was happy with the way we played."
Kemper's leading scorer was Johnson, who netted 15. Harpole added 14 and Whitaker had 11.
The Lady Rams (2-3) will travel to Wayne Academy on Saturday. The Lady Rebels (5-0) will host Grenada on Monday and travel to Oak Hill on Tuesday.
Leake Academy 84, Kemper Academy 51: John Chancellor had 24 points and
Thomas Henderson added 16 as Leake Academy took an 84-51 victory over Kemper Academy on Thursday night. "We opened up a little bit of a lead in the first half and then they [Kemper] came back. I thought during the whole second and third quarters, they were out hustling us. Leake head coach Phil Shepard said. "We lost a little bit of intensity, then Chancellor hit a few threes and opened it up for us. After we got a little bit of breathing room, we were ok." Leake jumped out to an early 23-16 lead at the end of the first quarter as Drew Wolverton got seven of his 12 points on the night in the first period of play.Kemper bounced back in the second to cut the Leake lead to 39-34 at the half thanks to key shots by Adam Davis.
Leake began to breakaway in third quarter as Chancellor nailed three three-pointers to extended the Rebels' lead to 54-48. In the fourth, Leake pulled away as Kemper's only goal came with 2:17 remaining in the game when Cal Miller hit a three. "We've probably practiced four times since football season has been over with,"Cruise said. "We're really an inexperienced team, but I think by the end of the season, we'll be ok."
Davis led the Rams with 21 points, while Justin Wiggins added 14 in the losing effort.
Leake (3-0) will host Grenada on Monday. Kemper (0-1) will be next be in action on November 26 at home against Macon Central.