Philadelphia, Louisville in tourney finals
LOOSE BALL n Louisville's Bryant Thomas goes for a loose ball while Unions Prentiss Evans looks on. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Dec. 29, 2000
PHILADELPHIA Everyone knows Louisville High School has some of the area's best athletes.
Looks like Crandal Porter may be the man to get results out of those athletes on the basketball court.
For the second straight night, Louisville was impressive in the Philadelphia Boys Holiday Tournament, as the Wildcats raced past Union 67-53 Thursday to advance to the tourney championship.
Louisville takes on host Philadelphia tonight at 6 p.m. in the finals of the tournament an eight-team, boys-only event that guaranteed each of the squads three games apiece.
Wednesday's other action saw Philadelphia knock off West Jones 62-45, while Newton edged Kemper County 58-56 and Ackerman knocked off Edinburg 58-46.
Today's action begins at 2 p.m., with Kemper County and Edinburg meeting in a consolation game, while Newton and Ackerman play at 3:15 p.m. The third-place game at 4:30 this afternoon pits Union against West Jones, with Philly tangling with Louisville in the championship at 6.
Louisville 67, Union 53: The Wildcats blitzed the Yellow Jackets for 24 points in the fourth quarter and wore down Class 1A Union on their way to a win.
Porter, in his first season as the Louisville head coach after spending last year as an assistant at Newton, watched his team roll to a 42-22 lead at halftime and coast to the win in the second half.
D'Andre Hardin led the Wildcats with 16 points, while B.J. Grace scored 12 points 11 of them in the pivotal second quarter.
Marquess Ledbetter added nine for the Wildcats, who got seven from Corey Goss and six from Bryant Thomas.
Trellis Mason pumped in a game-high 22 points for the Yellow Jackets, who fell to 10-5 on the year. Sophomore Derric Harris added 13 and Doug Wansley scored eight.
Philadelphia 62, West Jones 45: The Tornadoes outscored the Class 4A Mustangs in all four quarters in Thursday night's other semifinal.
Philly, which has now won five of its last six contests, improved to 10-7 after jumping out to an 18-14 lead after one quarter and doubling that advantage to eight at the half.
Keith Houston led the Tornadoes with 17 points, while a trio of underclassmen combined for 36. Junior Tellas Burnside threw in 16, sophomore Rashawn Hill was in double figures for the second straight night with 14 and Mandrake Jackson added six.
West Jones lost despite 14 points from senior Johnny McDonald. Joseph Page added nine and Anthony Newell threw in eight.
Newton 58, Kemper County 56: The Tigers were involved in the closest game of the day again. This time, however, Ed McGowan's bunch came out on top.
Newton jumped out to a 21-14 lead after one quarter. But Kemper County which will be in the same division next season with the Class 2A Tigers chipped away until the Wildcats tied it at 43-43 heading into the fourth quarter.
Kemper, which dropped to 10-6, has lost twice in the Philly tourney by a combined total of five points.
The Wildcats got 12 points apiece from Kenny Boyd and Chris Davis, while Gary Griffin was also in double figures with 10 points. James Moore added seven for the Wildcats.
Newton was led by Charles Dukes, who scored 17 points and paced four Tigers in double figures.
Lance Pruitt scored 16 in the win, Mario Qualls had 12 and Terrell Edwards scored 10.
Ackerman 58, Edinburg 46: Derrick Boyd scored 14 points to lead three Indians in double figures as Ackerman knocked off Edinburg.
The Indians were up six after one quarter, only to see the Class 1A Eagles pull within two at halftime. Ackerman gradually pulled away in the second half, outscoring Edinburg 15-10 in the third and 16-11 in the fourth.
Boyd got help from Ray Ferguson and Bobby Ferguson, who scored 13 and 12 points for Ackerman. Sherman Eiland threw in seven and Steven Wellmaker added six.
Roman Ingram scored 14 points for Edinburg, which fell to 2-11 on the season. Shane Estes added nine for the Eagles, who got seven from Royce Beckham and six from Jerry Germany.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.