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Knights move into semifinals

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Feb. 27, 2004
SUMMIT West Lauderdale's Knights used a 13-0 run in the second quarter to beat Jefferson County 75-61 in the Class 3A Boys' South State Tournament quarterfinals Thursday at North Pike.
Meanwhile, Prentiss senior Al Jefferson had a 54-point, 18-rebound outing as the Bulldogs eliminated Choctaw Central 88-77.
West Lauderdale, 27-8, will face Port Gibson, 12-22, tonight at 6 in the semifinals. Port Gibson blew a 13-point halftime lead before outscoring Columbia 20-14 in the fourth quarter to take a 61-58 win over the Wildcats, 24-7. Tonight's other semi has Prentiss taking on the Forest-North Pike winner at 7:30.
West Lauderdale 75
Jefferson County 61
The Knights went on a 13-0 run in the second quarter, shutting out the Tigers for over five minutes as they grabbed a 35-22 lead.
West never led by less than 11 points the remainder of the contest.
The Knights looked like they might pull away early as they took a 10-2 lead just over two minutes into the game behind a pair of two-point baskets from Daniel Huggins and two 3-pointers from Mark Ford.
After trailing by eight, the Tigers grabbed their biggest lead at 16-13 on a basket by Joshfer Nicholas with just over two minutes to go in the opening period.
Huggins promptly tied the game with a trey and the Knights led 20-19 by the end of the quarter.
Jefferson drew even at 22 on a 3-pointer from Eddie Davenport with just over five minutes to go in the second quarter. The Tigers wouldn't score again until Lorenzo Thomas broke the drought with a short shot five seconds before halftime.
By then, West had built a 35-24 lead to carry into the break. The Knights took advantage of six Tiger turnovers in the second period, while not turning the ball over any themselves.
West opened the second half with alley-oop dunks by Lee Nelson and Chris Seaphus in the first two minutes to go up 43-25. The Knights led by as many as 19 points in the third period.
Ford converted a four-point play with 7:21 left in the game to put West up 57-39. The Knights took their biggest lead at 66-45 with 4:11 left following a 7-0 run that effectively clinched the win.
The Knights got 19 points from Ford, 18 from Seaphus, 17 from Huggins, and eight from Nelson.
Jefferson, 15-19, got 28 points from Chris Carradine and 15 from Nicholas.
Prentiss 88
Choctaw Central 77
The Warriors gave Prentiss a good battle for the first 28 minutes before the Bulldogs finally wore them down.
Choctaw Central took a 6-2 lead in the first three minutes on back-to-back 3-pointers from Rodgrick Anderson and held a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Jefferson had 20 points and 11 rebounds in the first half as Prentiss, 23-6, carried a 35-34 lead into the break.
Trailing 42-36 early in the third quarter, the Warriors grabbed a 52-48 lead on another trey by Anderson with just under four minutes left in the period.
Prentiss took the lead for good on a layup with 2:17 left in the quarter and closed the period with a 5-0 run to take a 64-58 lead into the final eight minutes.
Jefferson had 14 points in the fourth quarter to send the Bulldogs into the semifinals and end the Warriors' season for the second year in a row.
The Warriors, 27-7, got 22 points from Anderson, 20 from Scotty Nickey, 16 from Jaric Anderson, and nine from Sean Ahshapanek.
In addition to Jefferson's scoring bonanza, Prentiss also got 10 points from Martinez, nine from Renaldo Gardner, and eight from Zack Magee.