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Tornadoes beat Indians

By By Jim Luke/Special to the Star
Dec. 29, 2001
PHILADELPHIA One thing that Philadelphia coach Keith Robinson has been hoping for this season is that his team would find their own identity instead of playing like their opponent. Friday night he felt like he got at least part of his wish as the Tornadoes downed the Ackerman Indians 63-51 in the second round of the Philly-Rush Medical Holiday classic.
In other action in the tournament Newton County beat Kemper County 66-58 and Neshoba Central knocked off Louisville 62-53 to advance to the tournament championship game.
The Tornadoes and Indians battled through a fairly even first quarter with Philadelphia coming out on top 18-13. In the second quarter the defense found its identity to hold Ackerman to six points at the Tornadoes built a 31-19 lead at the half on the basis of an 11-0 offensive run.
Those 11 points proved to be the main difference in the game as the Tornadoes were unable to hold any extension of the lead and the Indians could not cut into the lead.
One other bright spot in the game for the Tornadoes was the play of senior Jonathan Griffin coming off the bench. The part-time player played most of tonights game and scored 10 points in the contest.
In addition to Griffin, the Tornadoes, 11-3, were led offensively by Mandrako Jackson with 16 points and Tellas Burnside with 15 points.
Ackerman, 8-6, was led in scoring by Derrick Gray with 13 points and Xavier Weeks with 11.
The win puts Philadelphia in the tournament championship game against rival Neshoba Central with a scheduled start time of 4:45 p.m. today.
Newton County 66
Kemper County 58
The Newton County Cougars, 7-4, exploded for 39 second-half points after trailing by one at the half to advance in the losers bracket. The Kemper County Wildcats, 11-5, made several runs in the second half, but were unable to over come the offensive blast by the Cougars.
Al Willis and Del Murrell led the Cougars with 23 and 17 points respectively. Kemper County was led by Gary Griffin with 15 points and Kenny Boyd with 12.
Neshoba Central 62
Louisville 53
The Neshoba Central Rockets, 12-4, overcame a 30-25 halftime against the Louisville Wildcats, 12-4, to advance to the championship game of the tournament.
The Rockets turned in a 21-point third quarter and a 14-point fourth quarter while holding the Wildcats to nine points in the third and 14 points in the fourth to take the victory.
Tawon Walker led the Rockets with 15 points while Calvin Parker had 15 points and Desmond Jones added 10. Andre Coleman was the leading scorer for Louisville with 17 points and Ryan Hudson chipped in 15.
Louisville will play Ackerman in the tournament consolation game today at 3:30 p.m.