Jefferson scores 28 for Prentiss

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 7, 2002

MONTICELLO – For most young men, celebrating their birthday witha win would be special, but for Prentiss sophomore Al Jefferson itwas a surprise. Jefferson came into Friday night’s contest 16years-old and by 9:34 p.m., when the game had ended, Jefferson was17, as his teammates who also celebrated that number in tovictories for the season.

“Tonight’s game was special,” said Jefferson. “Not just becauseit was my birthday, but because we beat Lawrence County in theirown gym and in their own tournament. That’s why it’s special tome.”

Jefferson made sure he was going to win by accounting for nearly80 percent of the Bulldogs’ points en route to the 42-36 victory.Jefferson used his powerful 6-foot-9, 265-pound frame to agame-high 28 points and 18 rebounds. He also accounted for sixblocked shots, four coming in the second half.

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“We didn’t play like we could tonight,” added Jefferson. “We letthem get back in it in the third quarter and that cost us.”

With the win, Jefferson’s Dawgs wrapped up the tournament title,due to Franklin County’s 52-40 loss to Mendenhall. The Tigers(11-8) trailed the young Bulldog squad by three at the half butnine costly second-half turnovers ended Franklin County’s hopes ofan upset.

“Franklin County has a scrappy club,” said Mendenhall coach KenBarron. “They played us tough and never gave up.”

The Tigers were playing without their 6-7 swingman Emanuel Willswho is recovering from a wrist injury he sustained a few weeksago.

In girls action, the Lawrence County LadyCougars overwhelmed the Prentiss Lady Dawgs with strong play fromguards Marquita Cowart and Rhonda Warner. Warner and Cowartfinished with 13 and 17 points respectfully as the Prentisscommitted eight fourth-quarter turnovers in the last four minutesof the game.

In the opener, the Mendenhall Lady Tigers used 22 FranklinCounty turnovers to prevail 71-31. The Lady Tigers got 14 pointsand eight rebounds from senior center Lauren Williams whileFranklin County finished with 15-point efforts from juniors YolandaFelton and Dedire Gant.