Thursday, January 25, 2007
Lady Cardinals get district wins
By BARRY BURLESON
The Potts Camp Lady Cardinals dug their way out a district hole last week.
Coach Kevin Harris’ team routed East Union at home and beat Benton County rival Ashland on the road. They evened their district mark at 2-2 and improved to 13-10 overall.
“They were important division games, and I’m proud of the kids - the way they stepped up and played,” Harris said. “We have to continue it.”
Harris said his team “was smarting a bit” after an upset loss at Baldwyn Friday, Jan. 12, and responded with a 84-43 win over East Union Tuesday of last week.
“I could see it my kids’ eyes,” Harris said. “There was no chance of somebody sneaking up and upsetting us again.”
The Potts Camp girls outscored East Union 20-4 in the second quarter to build a 44-19 halftime advantage.
Kenyotta Jenkins poured in a game-high 27 points. Jasmine Harmon and Samantha Nance added 17 and 12, respectively.
“The loss to Baldwyn served as a wake-up call, and it was one we needed,” Harris said. “Everybody got a piece of the action (against East Union), and we did a great job executing.”
The Lady Cardinals had to battle their way through foul trouble Friday night to take a crucial 62-48 victory at Ashland.
“We were in foul trouble up to our elbows in the first half,” Harris said, “and we haven’t been too successful in the past in that situation.
“We just played hard. It shows how much we’ve grown and gotten better.”
He said he got solid minutes from Ashton Gandy and Lamonica Ingram.
“Plus Nique (Shanekqua) Johnson jump-started us with five quick points off three steals at the end of the first quarter.”
The Potts Camp girls were up 13-8 after one period and 31-23 at the half. They then outscored the Lady Devils 18-11 in the third period.
Jenkins was again the top gun with 24 points. Harmon had 15, all in the second half.
Defense played a huge role in the win. The Lady Cardinals held Ashland star Sandricka Bowen to just five points. She averages over 20 a game, Harris said.
“We used three or four different defenses and gave them different looks,” he said.
The game was a free throw fest. Ashland shot 38 and Potts Camp 33.
“We knew going in that every division game we have left is as close to life or death as high school basketball can get,” Harris said. “We played with an ‘anything goes’ attitude at Ashland. The win was a team effort.”
Gracie Morgan had 10 points for Ashland.
Potts Camp boys
The Cardinals scored 174 points in two games last week and lost one of those.
Coach Brian Smith’s crew almost hit the century mark Tuesday night in a 96-54 win over East Union.
“We just had too much firepower for them,” Smith said. “It was a good chance for our younger guys to get playing time. It was good experience for them.”
The Cardinals were up 58-35 at the half and outscored East Union 28-7 in the third.
Scoring in double digits for Potts Camp were Justin Smith with 24, Jacobye Davis with 16, Shawn Collins and Chris Sims with 12 each and Josh Martin with 10. Johnathan Falkner added eight.
Missed free throws proved costly Friday night in Potts Camp’s 84-78 loss at Ashland. It was the Cardinals’ first district setback of the season (3-1). They went to 16-8 overall.
“Our old problem came back to bite us,” Smith said. “We missed too many free throws.”
The Cardinals hit just 11 of 23 from the charity stripe.
“On the road in a district game against a good team, you have to make free throws,” he said.
The Cardinals led 18-11 after one quarter and 35-30 at the half.
“We let them (Ashland) set the tone in the second half,” he said. “We had some mistakes in the third quarter that hurt us.”
And Ashland’s Quint Hampton inflicted some pain, too. Scoreless in the first half, he hit five threes in the second half.
“Ashland hit some big shots,” Coach Smith said. “It was a tough loss for us, but we still have a shot (at the regular season division title). We just have to take care of business.”
Smith poured in 24 points in the loss. Also hitting for double digits were Collins with 19, Martin with 14 and Davis with 13.
Leading Ashland were Calvin Hampton with 25, Darnell Anderson and Hampton with 18 each. Quent Williams had 14.
“We just have to learn from it (the loss) and bounce back,” Coach Smith said.
Potts Camp visited rival Hickory Flat Tuesday. The Cardinals and Lady Cardinals host New Site Friday and H.W. Byers next Tuesday, Jan. 30.
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