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franklin county times

Overtime steal lifts Cougars past Philly

By Staff
TITLE GAME SCRAMBLE – Philadelphia's Eric Lyons tries to get past Newton County's James Broach, left and Del Merrill. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
Dec. 29, 2002
Willie Windham came up with a steal with 25 seconds left to play in overtime and then scored on a lay-up to help Newton County win the Philadelphia-Rush Medical Boys' Holiday Classic 73-70 over host the host Tornadoes on Saturday.
In other action, Kemper County beat Ackerman 63-56 to take seventh place in the tournament. Union won the fifth place game over Louisville 66-62 and Neshoba Central won the consolation game over Nanih Waiya 68-35.
Newton County used inside scoring to take an early lead and slipped by with the three-point victory.
The Cougars led 14-13 after the first quarter and took the ball to the Tornadoes in the second quarter. The Cougars started the quarter with a 12-5 run to stretch the lead to eight points midway through the second.
Newton County was led by Craig Pruitt in the first half. Pruitt scored 18 points in the half as the Cougars stretched the lead to as many as 15 points. Bobby Goodin hit a three-pointer for Philadelphia in the final minute of the half to cut the lead to 39-27.
Philadelphia came back strong led by great outside shooting in the third quarter. The Tornadoes cut the lead to five points with 3:44 left to play in the third after two three-pointers from John Williams and another three from Orie Hudson.
The Cougars led 52-47 after the third quarter, but the Tornadoes continued to light it up from outside. Goodin started the half with a three-pointer and after a three-point play from Trey Beamon, Goodin connected on another three to give Philadelphia the lead with 5:22 to play.
The two teams exchanged a couple of baskets and then Goodin hit another three-pointer and two free throws to give the Tornadoes a 64-61 lead. Del Merrell answered with a big three for the Cougars to tie the game.
Newton County then got two free throws from Ricardo Alcanter to take a 66-64 lead. Hudson came through with a big play for the Tornadoes as he stole the ball and scored with 32 seconds left to help send the game to overtime.
Windham came up with the big steal as Philadelphia held the ball for the final shot and hit a free throw later in the overtime to give the Cougars a 73-70 lead.
Philadelphia threw the ball the length of the court with three seconds left to get off a good shot, but Eric Lyons' pressured shot just missed and the Cougars held on for the win.
Newton County moves to 7-7 on the season with the win. Pruitt led the Cougars with 26 points while James Broach had 15 and Merrell finished with 11.
Philadelphia dropped to 6-7 on the year. Goodin finished with 24 points and Lyons scored 15 for the Tornadoes in the loss.
Neshoba Central 68
Nanih Waiya 35
Neshoba Central jumped on Nanih Waiya early and went on to win the consolation game 69-35 on Saturday.
Calvin Parker scored seven points in the first quarter and Eric Truss had eight as the Rockets jumped out to a 21-7 lead after the first.
The Rockets then outscored Nanih Waiya 24-11 in the second quarter to extend the lead to 45-18 and went on to take the win.
Truss finished the game with 14 points and Parker had 12. Neshoba Central improves to 11-5 with the win.
Brent Blackwell scored 10 points to lead Nanih Waiya. Rasheed Armstrong added seven.
Union 66
Louisville 62
Union finished off a good run in the tournament with a 66-62 win over Louisville in the fifth place game.
Union lost the first game of the tournament to Philadelphia in a heartbreaker, but came back to win it's final two games.
The Yellowjackets scored 22 points in the third quarter to take a 48-44 lead and then held on for the victory.
Derrick Harris scored 33 points to lead Union. Anthony Johnson added in 16 and Lando Blalock scored 10.
Ryan Hudson led Louisville with 16 points while Andre Coleman added in 11 and Maurice Gladney had 10.
Kemper County 63
Ackerman 56
Kemper County held off Ackerman in the seventh place game to take a 63-56 win.
Terrance Westerfield scored 20 points to lead the Wildcats to the victory. Omarion Backstrom added in 12 points for Kemper County in the win.
Alfonso Maxwell scored 20 points for Ackerman in the loss. Kendrick Jobe scored 11 points and Torrence Ashford added 10.