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Kemper, Wayne reach Central Regional finals

By By Marty Stamper/staff writer
Feb. 16, 2002
DEKALB Kemper Academy's Lady Rams used a strong first half Friday afternoon, while Wayne Academy used a 20-point second-half advantage to advance to today's girls' finals of the Academy Class A Central Regional at Knox Dudley Jr. Gymnasium at Kemper.
Kemper defeated Sharkey-Issaquena Academy 44-36, while Wayne rallied from a 13-point first-half deficit to knock off Central Academy 41-32.
Central faces SIA at 1 p.m. in today's consolation game, while Kemper hosts Wayne in the 2:30 championship contest. All four teams will advance to next week's Academy Class A State Tournament at Delta Academy in Marks.
Kemper girls 44
Sharkey-Issaquena 36
The Lady Rams did most of their damage in the first half carrying a 26-13 lead into intermission.
Kemper scored the first basket of the second half to take a 15-point lead.
Kemper led 33-21 to start the fourth quarter only to have the Lady Confederates pull to within 41-34 in the game's final two minutes. Jessica Harpole made one free throw and Blair Johnson scored a basket to seal the win.
Johnson and Harpole both had 10 points for Kemper, 27-7. Johnson also had 10 rebounds and three assists and made all four of her free throws. Harpole had seven rebounds and made 5-of-7 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter to stem the SIA comeback bid.
The Lady Rams also got nine points, four rebounds, and three steals from Leslie Beach; six points, 10 rebounds, and three assists from Megan Whitaker; five points, four rebounds, and three assists from Kayla Mosley, and four steals and a steady defensive effort from Eve Darnell.
Kemper made 10 of its 16 free-throw tries, while SIA was 4-of-14 from the line.
SIA, 21-17, got 14 points from Cox, who had eight in the first quarter. The Lady Confederates also got 11 points from Niki Wilson and eight from Keri Smith.
Wayne girls 41
Central 32
Despite a 13-point first-half lead, foul woes eventually cost the Central Lady Vikings their semifinal game with Wayne.
Central led 10-2 after one quarter and took a 20-9 advantage into halftime. However, the Lady Vikings had one player with three fouls and four with two by intermission.
Wayne was only as close as 11 points at the break thanks to a 5-of-12 showing at the free-throw line as the Lady Jaguars made just two baskets in the first half, both by Erin Stanley.
Central began losing players to fouls in the third quarter as Wayne used an 18-10 advantage in the period to close to within 30-27 entering the fourth quarter. The Lady Jaguars scored 14 of the final 18 points in the third period to get to within three points.
Central opened the final period with a basket by Penny Smith to go up 32-27, but the Lady Jaguars scored the next six points four by Christen Palmer to take a 33-32 edge for their first lead since 2-0.
Meagan Stokes joined Carrie Coker on the bench with her fifth foul with 3:44 left and the Lady Vikings only one point down.
Central wouldn't score again as the Lady Jaguars ended the game with a 14-0 run.
Wayne, 14-11, got 13 points from Stanley, 11 from Palmer, and six each from Erin Wood and Kristian Davidson.
Stokes led Central, 17-19, with nine points. Lindley Simpson scored eight and Leslie Hancock had six. The Lady Vikings were 7-of-15 at the free-throw line, but were whistled for 26 fouls while Wayne committed only 14 fouls.