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Lanier puts the bite on Knights

By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 28, 2001
JACKSON Lanier High School has been the top dog around Jackson city hoops for some time. On Thursday night at Forest Hill, they took a big bite out of the hide of West Lauderdale here in the Jackson Public School's Holiday Tournament.
The Lanier Bulldogs turned a close game in the third quarter into a startling rout, romping past the out-manned Knights 87-45. Lanier, now 15-3, moves on to face the Callaway-Jim Hill winner on Friday night in the JPS semifinals at Forest Hill.
West Lauderdale, which beat 5A Warren Central on Wednesday, leaves Jackson with a split in the tournament and now holds an overall record of 13-4.
It may be hard to fathom judging by the lopsided margin, but the Knights actually had the Bulldogs concerned early in the third quarter.
A basket by Calvin Moore pulled West to within a point at 32-31. Lanier's Jonathan Blackmon answered with a three-pointer.
West kept the margin at four at 37-33 when Karlos Lewis was credited with a bucket off a Lanier goal-tend. Following a Lanier miss, the Knights regained possession and decided to spread out the floor with four minutes left in the quarter.
After a few switch overs, the Knights ran a kick-out play to Boo Ramsey who was coming a hot performance against Warren Central. This time, Ramsey's shot missed. Lanier rebounded and Blackmon promptly drained his second trey of the quarter.
Moore scored for the Knights to make it 40-35. Blackmon came right back with his third straight three-pointer. The Knights would be unable to answer for the remainder of the quarter.
Lanier scored the next 16 points, hitting eight of nine shots. West was lucky to get the ball past mid-court. Lanier's full-court trap proved to be too much.
Blackmon added three layups off the press to go with his three, three-pointers to account for 15 of Lanier's 30 third quarter points. It was 59-35 when the third quarter horn sounded.
It only got worse in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs eventually stretched it to 43 points. They stayed in the press until the game ended.
Moore led West with 17 points. Eight came in the first quarter as West trailed just 17-14. It was 29-24 at the half. Ramsey ended with nine points.
Monta Ellis, one of Jackson's top players, had 17. He was 10 of 11 from the line. Issac Well added 11 points and Brian Burns had 10.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail at