Overtimes decide Wesson championships

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

WESSON – Overtime was the theme for girls and boys championshipgames in the Wesson Invitational Tournament Friday night. Bothfinals went down to wire before an estimated crowd of 300 diehardfans.

The Raleigh Lionettes sacked a game-winning trey from Kenya Doveas time expired in overtime; capturing the girls divisionchampionship of the with a hard-fought 52-50 overtime thriller overthe North Pike Lady Jaguars. The North Pike girls were thedefending tournament champions.

The North Pike Jaguars retained the boys crown with ahard-fought 55-54 double-overtime win over the host WessonCobras.

In the consolation games, the Loyd Star Lady Hornets squeezedout a 45-42 win over the Wesson Lady Cobras. The Dexter Bulldogsswam past the Cathedral Green Wave 78-65.

Wesson travels to Rankin County to meet the McLaurin Tigers inDivision 6-2A play Tuesday. The tripleheader tips off at 5 p.m.,with a JV boys game, followed by the varsity girls and boys gamesat 6 and 7:30.

Loyd Star 45, Wesson 42

Wesson opened the game with an 8-2 first quarter lead. Loyd Starregrouped to outscore the Lady Cobras 18-11 in the second frame;claiming a single point advantage, 20-19 at the intermissionbreak.

The Lady Hornets got 15 points from Hailey Ratcliff and 14 byShannon Chester. Loyd Star is under the direction of head coachLori Britt.

The Lady Cobras, coached by Jemmye Anne Helms, were paced byChristy Watson with 15 points.

Dexter 78, Cathedral 65

The Bulldogs were led by Rico Haynes with a game-high 27 points.Terrance Marks tossed in 14 points, while Kyron Cotton had 11 forhead coach Steve Fortenberry.

The Wave placed 3 players in double-figures, with Matt Gossscoring 19 points. Juan Grey followed with 17 points. MattMarchbanks had 11.

Raleigh 52, North Pike 50 (OT)

The girls title game was a seesaw battle for 36 minutes. Raleighclaimed an 8-6 advantage after the opening 8 minutes. TheLionettes, from Smith County, held a 23-20 cushion entering thehalftime locker room.

North Pike trailed 31-30 heading into the fourth quarter.

There were several ties and lead changes in the final period ofregulation. Raleigh held a 46-44 cushion with under 8 seconds lefton the clock, after Raleigh’s Aneitra Mitchell scored on abreakaway layup.

After several timeouts by both squads, the Lionettes prepared toinbound the basketball. North Pike’s Phoenicia Taylor stole theinbound pass, and made a layup with no time left. Taylor was fouledby Raleigh’s Kenya Dove. Taylor missed the free shot and the gameheaded to extra innings.

In the overtime period, each team had a single point lead. TheLady Jags took a 50-49 lead on a free throw by Nakosha Williamswith under 15 ticks left on the clock.

The Lionettes would run the clock down before Kenya Dove’sgame-winning heave fell through the nets as time expired.

Taylor led the Lady Jags with 23 points. Tyeshia Holmes followedwith 10 for head coach Keith Russ. Raleigh’s Nikita Mitchell ledall scorers with 26 points, while Dove pumped in 10 for head coachJason Kennedy.

North Pike 55, Wesson 54 (2 OT)

Cobra guard Brandt Hood got Wesson (6-9) off early with an11-point first period, including a perfect 3 of 3 from beyond the3-point arc. His teammates carried a 17-12 advantage into thesecond frame.

The Jags (8-7) would respond in the second frame, outscoringWesson 17-9 in the period. North Pike held the halftime lead at29-26 as Phillip McCray tossed in 9 of his 16 points in thequarter.

Both offenses slowed down in the third, with North Pike taking a38-31 lead into the final stanza.

Wesson opened the fourth with an 11-0 run, taking 52-48 leadwith over 3 minutes left in regulation. North Pike forced the extrasessions by taking advantage of the Cobras’ inability to hit keyfree throws down the stretch.

The Cobras shot 50 percent (5 of 10) from the charity stripe,while the Jags were 18 of 29 (62 percent).

Hood paced head coach Ron Kessler’s squad with 19 points, 5rebounds and 4 steals. Phil Fortenberry and Mason Warren had 11points apiece. Fortenberry also had 6 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, 3steals and 3 assists. Warren added 3 assists and 2 steals. AdrianKing had 6 rebounds.

Russ’ Jags were led by Eric Robinson with 18 points, 6 rebounds,3 steals and 4 assists. Clifton Young led off the backboards with 7rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Trace Abdul-Hadi had 12points.