Buzzer-beater lifts Southeast
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Jan. 10, 2001
For as many shots as she's made this season, it turned out to be a miss by Southeast Lauderdale's Monique Horner that helped do in cross-county rival West Lauderdale.
Horner missed badly on a short jumper from the right wing in the closing seconds Tuesday night, but teammate Kenitta Cooley put it back in with an offside rebound from the baseline with two seconds remaining to lift Southeast to a 67-65 win over visiting West.
West Lauderdale's girls are now 16-6 and 0-1.
West did earn a split in the nightcap, winning the boys' game easily, 74-42.
Southeast girls 67, West Lauderdale 65: The heroics of Horner, Cooley and freshman Samantha Smith helped the Lady Tigers overcome a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to earn the win over West.
Southeast actually started fast, jumping to a 7-0 lead and holding a 23-17 advantage after one quarter.
But West began to heat up from the outside, getting 3-pointers from Kristina Gardner, Cierra Jennings and Patty Monroe in the second quarter to go up 34-33.
Three's by Jennings and Julie McCrory helped push West's lead to four heading into the fourth quarter, and the Lady Knights led 52-45 with 6:18 remaining.
Horner scored the next seven points, however, tying the game at 52-52 less than a minute later after getting a steal and popping a 3-pointer of her own.
West coach Jody Hurst then turned to sophomore forward J.J. Huggins, who scored her team's next 11 points. But Southeast answered each Huggins basket including a 3-pointer by Lesley Ruffin that tied the game at 63-63 with 51 seconds left.
McCrory hit both ends of a one-and-one to put West up by a pair, but Smith tied it again when she nailed a jumper from the free throw line with 34 seconds remaining.
The teams traded turnovers during the next nine seconds before Southeast got its final, game-winning possession.
Horner, who was 7-of-21 from the field, was held to 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals all below her average.
But Ruffin scored 18, while Smith had 11 points and four steals. Cooley finished with nine points and six rebounds, while Ebony Moore another freshman had six points and five boards.
Huggins finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Gardner had 14 points and eight rebounds. McCrory had 13 points and four assists, Jennings scored 10 points and had three assists and Monroe scored seven.
West Lauderdale boys 74, Southeast 42: West's Calvin Moore pumped in 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Southeast committed 18 turnovers … all in the first half.
West started the game with an 18-2 run and coasted to a 34-12 halftime lead as the Knights improved to 11-12 overall and 1-0 in Division 5-3A.
Southeast is now 1-19 and 0-2.
Moore finished with a game-high 25 points, while Van Wilson scored 12, Boo Ramsey had 11, Andre Adams 10 and Chuck Brewer seven for the Knights.
Willie Hood led Southeast with 12 points, while Anthony Horner had 10. Lapatrick Carlisle scored eight and Jonathan Russell added six.
Next up: Southeast will be in action again Thursday through Saturday at the Sam Dale/Walter Ethridge Tournament at Northeast Lauderdale.
West won see action again until Saturday, when the Knights and Lady Knights host Class 5A John Carroll High from Birmingham, Ala. Varsity action is slated to begin at 4:30 with the girls' game, then John Carroll's 12-1 boys' team takes on the host Knights at 6 p.m.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.