Panthers are now 28-0!By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,
The Yazoo County Panthers are still undefeated after winning 83-53 over the Choctaw County Chargers in the first round of the 3A North State Tournament on Tuesday.
The Panthers took a huge lead in the first quarter, scoring 28 points to the Chargers’ 8 points. By half-time the Yazoo County Boys were still leading with a score of 52-24. Despite pushing back in the 3rd quarter, Choctaw County scored only 12 points compared to the Panthers 18, making the score 70-36. The Panthers continued dominating the court against the Chargers in the 4th Quarter, rallying the fans after several good plays from the Yazoo County Boys. Emon Washington's slam-dunk of the ball, along with a near half-court 3 point shot from Hunter Barron, raised the fans to their feet. The Panthers would end the game 83-53, advancing them to the next round of the North State Tournament.
"We played really well," said Yazoo County's Coach Rahim Lockhart. "Our guys were unselfish, sharing the ball, played with intensity and great communication and great focus."
Coach Lockhart added that some of his players really stood out in the game.
Despite what looked like an injury early on in the game, Hunter Barron performed greatly on offense.
"He really shot the ball well," Coach Lockhart said. "He fell and we thought he might have been hurt, but he came back and performed really well. I think he made about six 3-pointers in the game."
Coach Lockhart added that Emon Washington continued to be a force on the court, stabilizing the team.
"He came in and really took charge of the board," he said. "He had a lot of high energy in the press."
Coach Lockhart also mentioned Kejuan Frierson who helped the team get off to a good start by making a few shots from the 3-point line.
"The whole team just played well, especially the second group," he said. "They are transforming and are putting together some really good defense on their end so it went well."
Moving forward, the Panthers are scheduled to play Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. against Coahoma Agricultural High School at Yazoo County.
Coach Lockhart said that it is business as usual for the Panthers as they get prepared for the upcoming game.
"We have pretty much established where we are going and what kind of team we are going to be," he said. "I try my best to keep the guys sharp, but also keep them fresh. When you get into the playoffs there is a lot of mental exhaustion that can take place, and we all know that a healthy mixture of rest and work is paramount to high productivity in any task."