Quitman beats Enterprise
By By Rocky Higginbotham/Special to The Star
Jan. 11, 2002
DEKALB Quitman High School's boys entered this week's Sam Dale Tournament with just four wins in 15 tries this season but against one of the toughest schedules in the area, if not the entire state.
Thursday afternoon, that rough slate paid off for coach Steve Hampton's squad.
The Panthers came out red-hot and stroked cross-county rival Enterprise, turning back the Bulldogs 86-61 in spite of another stellar performance from Cory Boggan.
Quitman used the win to improve to 5-11 on the season and move into tonight's 5:45 p.m. semifinal contest against Division 5-4A rival Northeast Lauderdale which received a bye.
The other boys' semifinal tonight pits defending tourney champ and host Kemper County against Southeast Lauderdale at approximately 8:15 p.m.
The Wildcats knocked off Northeast's junior varsity squad 65-38 in Thursday's other opening-round game.
Quitman boys 86
Boggan lit up the Panthers for a game-high 40 points, but despite his performance, Quitman was the story of Thursday's boys' opener.
The Panther came out on fire, starting with a 10-2 run that forced Enterprise coach Mark Davis into a timeout.
But that's not where the bleeding stopped for the Bulldogs.
Quitman got a 3-pointer from Jason Pearson to stretch its lead to 17-2 midway through the first quarter, then another 3 from Marcus McCormick for a 22-2 lead.
It was a 26-6 game at the end of the first quarter, and McCormick continued to pour it on in the second period with two more 3-pointers that helped make it 43-23 at halftime.
Enterprise got within 18 on a couple of occasions early in the third, but McCormick's dunk sparked an 8-0 run that helped the Panthers take full control at 55-29.
McCormick finished with 19 points 15 of them in the first half thanks to four 3-pointers. Pearson nailed a pair of 3s in the first half and finished with eight points.
Lorenzo White scored 18 for Quitman, which got 11 from Jermel Thigpen, seven from B.J. Parks and six each from Sidney King and Grover Terrell in a performance that Hampton called his squad's best of the season.
Boggan had five 3-pointers most of them from NBA range on his way to a 40-point night, while Anthony Johnson scored 10 points and Derrick James seven for the Bulldogs.
Kemper County 65
Northeast JV boys 38
When tournament organizers couldn't find a sixth boys' team to complete this year's Sam Dale field, Northeast was given permission from MHSAA officials to enter its junior varsity squad.
Thursday night, the JV Trojans provided a nice warm-up game for the defending tourney champs.
Antonio Clayton knocked down a trio of 3-pointers and tallied 15 points for Northeast, which stayed with Kemper for most of the first quarter.
The host Wildcats started with a 6-0 run thanks to a dunk from James Moore, but Northeast was within 13-10 with a minute to go in the quarter. Marques Mays hit a 3-pointer and got a buzzer-beating basket to make it an 18-10 Kemper lead after one period.
Another 3 from Mays and a putback slam dunk from Gary Griffin helped Kemper to a 33-15 lead at halftime, and the Wildcats coasted to a win that improved them to 16-5.
Eleven players scored for Kemper, led by Mays with 15. Quentin Green and Kenny Boyd had 11 points each and Kendrick Benneman scored eight.
Boyd had eight rebounds, Terrence Westerfield had seven and Paul Williams six, while Green dished out four assists and RonTerrian Dale blocked three shots.
Clayton's 15 for Northeast was followed by Dontray Walker's nine points. Alex Ford added six points, seven rebounds and a couple of blocks.