Last three minutes finish off Union Yellowjackets
FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE A YELLOWJACKET Union's Derrick Harris manuevers through the air to put up a basket against Ingomar. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
March 3, 2002
JACKSON – For 29 minutes, the Union Yellowjackets were giving the heavily-favored Ingomar Falcons all they wanted in the semifinal contest in the Class 1A State Tournament at the Mississippi Coliseum Saturday afternoon.
Over the last three minutes, however, the Jackets could do little right as Ingomar closed the game with a 10-2 run to take a 60-52 victory and improve to 35-2. The Falcons' two losses were to 5A Tupelo and 3A state semifinalist Ashland.
Union finished its season 21-13 after being 2-4 at one point.
Ingomar will face defending 1A state champion Dexter for the 2002 1A title Thursday at 8 p.m.
Union led by four points on four occasions in the first quarter before holding a 14-12 edge at the end of the opening period.
The Jackets got a 3-pointer from Prentiss Evans and a two-pointer from the 5-foot-10 senior guard to take their biggest lead of the game at 19-12 with 6:38 remaining in the second quarter.
After a timeout by Ingomar veteran coach Norris Ashley, the Falcons scored nine of the next 11 points to pull even at 21-21 with 3:47 to go before halftime.
The Falcons led by as many as four points three times before taking a 29-27 advantage into intermission.
The teams jockeyed back and forth over the third quarter with Ingomar leading by as many as five points (34-29) before Union took a pair of one-point leads on baskets from Derrick Harris. Harris had eight of Union's 13 points in the third quarter.
The teams headed into the final period with a 40-40 stalemate.
Union missed three shots from inside two feet in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter as Ingomar eased out to a 46-42 lead on back-to-back baskets by Reggie Siddell.
Douglas Wansley pulled Union back even at 46-46 with 4:37 to go. After ties at 48-48 and 50-50, the Falcons finally gained the upper hand as they scored two trips in a row to go up 54-50 with 2:15 left.
Union got back to within 54-52 on a pair of free throws by Wansley with 2:05 left but would not score again as turnovers ended any chance of a comeback.
Ingomar's depth advantage was apparent as well as the Falcons' bench outscored Union 29-0.
Wansley had 15 points, while Evans and Harris scored 14 apiece to lead Union. Quincy Larkin had five and Anthony Johnson added four.
Shawn McDonald, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, came off the bench to lead Ingomar with 22 points. Siddell, a 6-foot-2 junior, added 19.
McDonald and Siddell got many of their points on second and third shots as they controlled the offensive boards.
(Evans) was 4-for-4 in the first half, (Harris) was 2-for-4, and (Wansley) was 4-for-6. Those guys were hitting almost 65 percent in the first half and it was pretty obvious we had to shut their guards down. And we did enough to get an eight-point win."