Panthers defeat Magee 90-60 for district win

By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,

The Yazoo County Panthers showed off their natural basketball talent after defeating Magee 90-60 last Friday. This conference win improves the County Boys' record to 11-7 overall, and 2-2 in district. Coach Torrey Dale said that prior to this game with Magee, they had studied game films and quickly formed a plan on how to defeat this team from the south. "It looked like they liked to zone up a little bit on defense," Dale said. "I'm blessed to have some great shooters on this team so I told the guys to air it out and see if Magee could come out of that zone. Once they came out of that zone we started an escort service to the basket." It seemed as though the Panthers were playing into their comfort zone, working together to score basket after basket. Marty Burrell scored at least one slam dunk in the first quarter, while Hunter Barron and other players landed several three-point shots with ease. The Panthers were quickly able to gain a lead and closed out the first quarter leading 34-10. "I told them to get ahead in the game early so we could rest our players and get them ready for other big games we have this week," Dale said. "I rotated in my players and we kept to the game plan of getting in and out as fast as we could so we could move on to what we have next." Dale continued to rotate in his younger players, who added 18 more points to the board, and closed out the first half leading the Trojans by 52-28. "We had some miscues on defense with the younger guys in the second quarter, but that happens when they don't get to play as often," Dale said. "But if Magee ever cut the lead by 20 points, then I put my starters back in to just kind of get that insurance." During the halftime break, Dale said he reminded the Panthers to just keep playing solid basketball, and to not drop down to the other team's level in the 3rd quarter. Still rotating in subs and resting players, both teams scored 20 points in the 3rd quarter, but Panthers maintained their lead by 72-48. "I didn't want us to take our foot off the gas until the 4th quarter," Dale said. "I told them to keep playing slow and steady and use this time to brush up on some things or rest for a later game. We don't need injuries, and people can get hurt when you try to run up the score in games like this. That's why we clear the bench and let some of the other guys play to gain experience." The Panthers continued to play basketball into the 4th quarter, letting their natural talents show out on both offense and defense over Magee. The Yazoo County boys sank shot after shot, adding another 18 points to the board before the final buzzer, and sealed in the win with a score of 90-60 over the Trojans. "After the game I reminded them that this game was an important win for us as we get closer to our goal of going for that gold ball," Dale said. "I told them to just go home and get some rest and be ready to play hard against Crystal Springs and St. Andrews this week." Leading on offense in this game was Marty Burrell who scored 24 points across three quarters. Following in at second was Kejuan Frierson with 20 points. "Lekevion Dixon, our North South All Star had 16 points," Dale said. "And Jhamario Bassett and Hunter Barron both had 8 points each." Making an impact on defense was Lekevion Dixon with 2 blocks, and John Lewis with 6 steals.