Thursday, February 17, 2005

Cards sweep Ripley
By BARRY BURLESON
Editor

Senior Night is always special. Friday night it was extra special for Potts Camp High School.

The Class 1A Cardinals and Lady Cardinals knocked off the highly-touted Class 3A teams from Ripley High School to close out the 2004-05 regular season.

The Potts Camp boys trailed Ripley by 11 points after three quarters but didn’t roll over and play dead. They had cut the deficit to five with three minutes left in the game.

“I challenged the guys,” head coach Chris Ferrell said. “I told them to buckle down, make some stops and play together. They responded well.”

The Cardinals outscored the Tigers 18-5 in the fourth period and claimed the dramatic 59-57 victory. Chris Christian sank two three-pointers in the final quarter, and Jacobye Davis nailed three clutch free throws in the closing seconds to nail down the win.

“To get a win against Ripley, the second or third best team on our schedule, is huge,” Ferrell said. “And to get a win on Senior Night was big for our kids. We played well and had good chemistry.

“Ripley was 21-6 coming in and had gotten a big write-up in the Daily Journal the day of the game. My kids were fired up.”

Leading the point production for Potts Camp were Reggie Lesure with 18, Davis with 15, Stephen Simon with eight and Luther Jones with seven.

Ferrell also praised his team’s defense in the second half. He said Ripley star Derrick Bails scored 23 points through three quarters but only two in the fourth, thanks to Simon’s defense. Plus, Jones held the other Ripley standout, Buck Johnson, to 12 points for the game, well below his 22-point average.

Three Potts Camp seniors—Lesure, Christian and Trey Dillard—were honored.

“It was a great win,” said Ferrell, whose 11-19 team opened Region 2-1A Tournament play Monday night of this week at West Union. “We played a tough schedule. I hope it pays off this week. You can throw records out the window.”

The Potts Camp girls also rallied in the second half. They earned a 66-61 win, their second over talented Ripley this season.

Coach Kevin Harris’ squad was down 29-21 at the half and trailed by 13 with four minutes to go in the third.

“In the first half we were sluggish offensively and made some bad decisions,” Harris said.

But Arnetta Howell caught fire in the third quarter. She hit three “threes” and a two-point shot, scoring 11 of her game-high 26 points.

The big momentum shift came at the end of the third. Howell sank a shot from half-court just before the buzzer to tie the game.

“We rode that surge into the fourth quarter,” Harris said. “We went up by as many as nine and held on for the win.”

Also hitting for double digits were Latrece Walker with 20 and Kenyotta Jenkins with 11.

Three seniors were recognized – Kayla Reed, Taquita Evans and Howell.

The Lady Cardinals, 22-9 on the season, tipped off Region 2-1A Tournament play Monday night at West Union. They’re the second seed in the tourney.

Potts Camp vs. Southaven

Ferrell’s Cardinals came up just short at Class 5A Southaven on Tuesday night of last week, losing 70-67.

“We played really good,” he said. “We missed some critical shots.

“We had the chance to win against a big 5A school. We hated that we lost, but we were pleaded with how well we played.”

The Lady Cardinals rallied to take their game against Southaven into overtime and then pulled out the 60-59 victory.

“I’m so proud of the way we came back,” Coach Harris said.

Potts Camp trailed by eight points with 50 seconds left in regulation.

“You’re not supposed to win those,” he said. “We had some key stops and some key buckets.”

Howell hit a “three” to send the game to overtime.

“The play took five people doing their jobs,” Harris said. “At that point and time, you have to execute. She came off the screen (from Evans) and got a clean look. She banked it in, but it still counted.”

Later Jasmine Harmon drained a “three” to give the Lady Cardinals a one-point lead with four seconds to go in overtime.

“Then Kenyotta (Jenkins) and Arnetta (Howell) combined to block a shot at the end and save the win,” Harris said.

“The team delivered big time. I was so proud that we did not give up.”

Howell had a game-high 25 points. Walker followed with 11. Stellana Taylor and Harmon added seven and six, respectively.

Potts Camp hit 11 three-pointers in the game to beat 5A Southaven, which finished second in their division to Olive Branch.

Region 2-1A Tournament at West Union

With a win over Myrtle in round one Monday night, the fifth-seeded Potts Camp boys advance to the semi-finals Thursday at 7:45 against top-seeded Hickory Flat.

The consolation and title games are Friday at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., respectively.

With a win over Hickory Flat in round one Monday night, the Potts Camp girls move on to the semi-finals Thursday at 4 p.m. against either H.W. Byers or Blue Mountain.

The consolation and championship contests are Friday at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.

The top four teams from the Region advance to North Half play next week.


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