Leake sweeps Kemper
By By Marty Stamper/staff writer
Jan. 8, 2002
MADDEN – Kemper Academy's Lady Rams are enjoying one of their better basketball seasons this year.
Leake Academy's Rebelettes are always a force in east central Mississippi academy hoops as 19 consecutive seasons of at least 25 wins would attest.
Fans filed into Joe Shepard Gym Monday night expecting a close battle between the two. After all, the first meeting produced a two-point Leake win at DeKalb on Nov. 15 and Kemper made no bones about wanting a rematch.
Leake pulled away from the Lady Rams to take a 67-45 win to improve to 17-4. Kemper dropped to 16-6.
For the game, Leake shot 47.3 percent from the floor, making 26-of-55 attempts. Leake was also 11-of-15 at the free-throw line, while Kemper was 1-of-4.
Kemper made only 8-of-40 tries in the second half after shooting 44.4 percent, 12-of-27, in the first half. For the game, the Lady Rams shot 29.9 percent from the floor.
The first quarter was a classic as Leake led 23-18 as few trips down the court failed to produce points for either team. Kemper hit three 3-point baskets with Leslie Beach drilling two and Jessica Harpole adding the other.
Leake, meanwhile, got a pair of 3s from B.J. Helton and nine points from sophomore post Kristin Caldwell.
After Kemper got to within 25-22 on a short jumper from Blair Johnson, Leake finally got its patented running game in gear for layups from Helton and Laurin Gross. A 3-pointer from Gross put the Rebelettes up 32-24.
Kemper continued to misfire and two baskets from Jessica Dickens highlighted an 8-2 Rebelette run to close the first half as Leake carried a 40-28 lead into the break.
Leake went up 46-30 on a basket from Caldwell, but Harpole hit another trey and Johnson connected twice inside the lane as Kemper got back to within 50-39 to start the fourth quarter.
Leake put the game away with a 9-0 run to start the final period. Gross had six of the points as the Rebelettes built a 60-39 advantage with just over five minutes remaining.
Kemper answered with a 5-0 run, but Leake closed with the game's final seven points.
Amazingly, Leake's starting five played the entire game as Wolverton did not sub the first time. Gross had 18 points, while Caldwell had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Helton added 14 points and seven boards. Eighth grader Greggina Tadlock had 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Dickens had eight points.
Johnson shook off a recent slump to lead Kemper with 14 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Kayla Mosley added 10 points, while Beach scored eight and Harpole had seven.
Kemper knocked off a stout Oak Hill team Friday that had beaten Leake.
Kemper travels to Decatur to take on Newton County Academy, while Leake hosts East Rankin in tonight's games.
Leake boys 82
The Rebels took a 38-21 lead into halftime only to have Kemper close the gap to 42-31 early in the third quarter. The Rams wouldn't score again in the period and the Rebels ran off 24 unanswered points to go up 66-31 heading into the fourth quarter.
Leake had 12 players score in improving to 16-3. Trey Langston led Leake with 16 points. Luke Culpepper tossed in nine, Jay Gulley, Justin Chancellor, and Adam Bobo each had eight, while Joshua Chamblee, Daniel Jones, and Allen Byrd each had six.
Kemper, 3-12, got 11 points from Adam Davis, 10 from John Warren, and eight from Justin Wiggins in losing its eighth straight contest.