Bears blast French Camp

Published 9:00 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Overcoming an expected letdown, the WestLincoln Bears shuffled past the French Camp Academy Panthers 69-52Tuesday night in the opening round of the Class 1A SouthMississippi playoffs. Powering the victory was freshman guard DuaneMarshall with 24 points.

    West Lincoln (26-4) continues its South Mississippi journeyThursday night, hosting the quarterfinals. The Bears play McAdamsat 5:30 p.m. in Jack Case Gymnasium.

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    In Thursday’s other 1A games, Stringer plays East Oktibbeha at 4,Dexter tackles West Lowndes at 7 and Durant meets Piney Woods at8:30. Semifinals are Friday night at 6 and 7:30. Finals areSaturday night at 7.

    West Lincoln coach Lane Young said he was disappointed with histeam’s performance against the No. 4 team out of Region5-1A.  His Bears had wonthe Region 7-1A championship last Friday at Natchez, beating No. 1seed Piney Woods.

    “I was really disappointed with the way we played,” said Young.”There was no intensity.

    “French Camp hustled and outplayed us. We just had betterplayers.”

    Young said his team must be more focused and play harder against astrong McAdams squad. “If we don’t play much better, we won’t haveanything to worry about after Thursday.”

    French Camp (11-12), with no seniors in the starting lineup, used adetermined effort to stay with the Bears. They were directed byjunior forward Dre Carter’s 20 points. Junior forward Lamin Sillahhad 11 points and 7 rebounds.

    The Bears got 15 points and 9 rebounds from junior power forwardLucas Burris. A tomahawk dunk by Burris, with 5:41 left in thegame, woke up the crowd and gave the Bears a 58-40 lead.

    Marshall sacked 5 treys in the game, including a pair to end thefirst quarter, giving the Bears an  18-9 advantage. Junior guardJared  Case scored 17points and made 9 assists, plus 3 steals.

    On the backboards, where the Bears dominated, Sam Bivens bagged 8rebounds and LeKeith Ward 7.

    French Camp, coached by Tommy Ward, took the ball inside most ofthe game.  The Pantherspulled within 5 points, 40-35,  with 2:39 left in the third quarteron sophomore Jesse Hasket’s jumper from the wing. The Bears gottreys from Marshall and Case to expand their lead.

    For the game, the Bears had 15 turnovers and the Panthers had18.