Thursday, January 11, 2007
Potts Camp sweeps rival West UnionBy BARRY BURLESON
Potts Camp teams got 2007 off to a successful start Friday night with a pair of homecoming wins over rival West Union.
The Lady Cardinals had some first half offensive woes but got on track in the second 16 minutes and recorded the 49-37 win.
“It was nice to get a win in our first game back (after the holiday break), and it was nice to win on homecoming night,” said coach Kevin Harris, whose squad improved to 11-8.
The Potts Camp girls didn’t score their first bucket of the new year until the 2:47 mark of the first quarter, and they trailed 5-2. Kenyotta Jenkins hit a short jump shot to knot the game at 7 with 1:27 to go, but West Union went on a brief run and led 12-7 at the end of the period.
The defenses kept dominating in the second quarter. Potts Camp scored eight points in the quarter, while West Union tallied just five. The Lady Cardinals were down 17-15 at halftime.
Harris said his team’s slow start on offense could have been attributed to several factors, including the holiday layoff, homecoming festivities prior to the game and some work in practice on a “couple of new things.”
“Fortunately, we defended well enough in the first half to stay in the game,” he said.
Jenkins carried the load in the second half. She scored 16 of her game-high 22 points in the final 16 minutes.
“In the first half it was like we were seeing her a second too late (to get the ball to her),” Harris said. “We found her in the second half.”
Shanekqua Johnson’s three with 1:19 left in the third quarter gave Potts Camp a 30-24 advantage. The lead was 32-24 at the end of the period.
“We hit two or three baskets there, and our energy level came up,” he said. “We were finally able to get into some offensive rhythm.”
Johnson added 12 points in the victory. Jasmine Harmon scored seven.
Harris said his team fed off the “defensive energy” of Barneka Lewis, Johnson and Harmon.
“It was a good night to get a win over a local rival,” he said. “West Union knows us well, and we know them.”
The Potts Camp boys were clicking on all cylinders, particularly Shawn Collins. He poured in a game-high 28 points and dished out 11 assists in an 83-63 win.
It avenged the Cardinals’ first loss of the season, 76-54 to West Union back in late October.
“What can you say about Shawn (Collins)?” coach Brian Smith said. “He had a heck of a game.
“I thought we played great, particularly on the defensive end. West Union had trouble figuring out our defense.”
West Union sharpshooter John Sexton was limited to 21 points, well below his average.
“My guys just played good team defense,” Smith said.
Back-to-back layups from Collins put the home team out front 8-2 at the 5:21 mark of the opening period. The lead was 19-11 after one.
Three baskets in the last 36 seconds of the first half - two breakaway layups by Justin Smith and a three by Collins upped the Cardinals’ advantage to 40-23.
They led by as many as 20 in the third quarter when Chris Sims scored on a putback. But West Union made a run to cut the deficit to 56-46.
Smith and Collins heated up again in the fourth quarter and sparked the Cardinals to the 20-point victory.
Sims added 20 points and 14 rebounds for Potts Camp. Smith scored 18. Jacobye Davis scored eight before having to leave the game in the second quarter due to sickness.
“Jacobye gave us some spark early, and then the team found out we can produce without him,” Smith said. “That helps the overall team.”
The Cardinals upped their record to 14-6.
“This win was huge,” Smith said. “West Union gave us our first loss of the season, and they’re a highly-ranked team. It shows we’ve improved. The fans showed up for homecoming, and it was overall good night for Potts Camp basketball.”
The Cardinals and Lady Cardinals visited Marshall County rival Byhalia Tuesday night. They travel to Baldwyn Friday for crucial district games. Next Tuesday, Jan. 16, they host East Union in district contests.
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