Warriors down Knights, stay unbeaten
By By Rocky Higginbotham / Special to The Star
Dec. 13, 2003
CHOCTAW The Choctaw Central boys received a technical foul at the beginning of their Division 5-3A contest with West Lauderdale Friday night after being accused of a dunk in pregame warmups.
It was about the only thing that went wrong for the Warriors all night.
Upstart Choctaw got double-doubles from big man Sean Ahshapanek and Jaric Anderson, and the Warriors remained unbeaten on the season with a 75-60 win over the visiting Knights at the Scalpin' Grounds.
The win completed a sweep for Choctaw, which won the girls' contest 61-44.
West Lauderdale is in action again Tuesday when the Knights and Lady Knights go to cross-county rival Southeast Lauderdale, while Choctaw Central goes to Forest on Monday.
Choctaw Central (boys) 75
West Lauderdale 60
Ahshapanek has battled foul trouble throughout the season, but the only returning starter from the Warriors' Class 3A state runner-up team had little troubles Friday night.
Ahshapanek also had seven assists and six steals, while Anderson threatened a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Choctaw was up 19-13 after one quarter and by eight early in the second, only to see West score eight unanswered points to tie the game at 23. The Knights even led on two occasions, and were up 29-25 before the Warriors scored the last seven points of the first half to go up 32-29.
It was still a three-point margin midway through the second, when Choctaw went on a 17-5 spurt that included two putbacks from Ahshapanek and a pair of 3-pointers from Joseph Martin.
The Warriors were up 58-43 going into the fourth quarter.
West pulled within 66-58 with 2:43 left on a putback from Lee Nelson, but Choctaw outscored the Knights 9-2 afterward.
Martin added 11 points and Rodgrick Anderson eight for Choctaw. The Warriors had 27 turnovers, but forced West into 28 miscues and outrebounded the Knights 41-31.
Chris Seaphus scored 19 points, had six steals and four assists for coach Duran Clark's West team, which fell to 11-3.
Choctaw Central (girls) 61
West Lauderdale 44
The eighth-ranked Lady Warriors improved to 12-0 with a solid defensive effort and another big night from junior sensation Chantay Frazier.
We figured we'd have to hold them to 60 to have a chance, and we did that," West coach Jody Hurst said. "We just couldn't get anything done offensively … we couldn't get anyone other than Cierra (Jennings) to score until late."
Choctaw opened the game with a 19-3 run before Jennings had a big second quarter to keep West in it. She hit back-to-back 3s and had a nice dish to Shannon Lloyd just before the half ended to pull the Lady Knights within 27-22.
But Choctaw scored the first eight points of the second half and never looked back. A trio of 3s two from Frazier and another from Ashley Flint had Choctaw up 48-27 by the end of the third quarter.
Frazier finished with 29 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals and Flint had 16 points, seven boards, five assists and five steals. Kristi Willis grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds, while Mystee Dale had seven points, seven boards and five steals.
Jennings and Vankelia Wilson scored 17 points apiece to lead West, which had 25 turnovers and was behind on the glass all night before rallying to pull even at 40-40 in rebounds.
Lloyd, a 6-foot-2 Tennessee State signee, led West with 14 rebounds. She also had five points, while Jennings had five assists as the Lady Knights fell to 9-4.