Hatch beats Wilcox Central in thriller

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 29, 2003

For the third time this season both the boys’ and girls’ teams of the RC Hatch Bobcats victimized the Wilcox Central Jaguars.

It was an overflow excited crowd that watched the Bobcats outlast the Jaguars 56-54 in the championship game of the Wilcox Central Christmas Tournament.

The fast-paced first quarter featured 3 three-pointers by the Jaguars; two straight from Allen Crompton. Alquan Mendenhall knocked down the other. Frederick Lewis of the Bobcats dropped in 8 points in the quarter to put his team up 16-13 by the end of the quarter.

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Two straight field goals by the Bobcats at the start of the second quarter stretched their lead to 7. While the Jaguars were getting into early foul trouble, the Bobcats swelled the lead to 26-17 with 4:20 left in the quarter. With 2:29 left and the Bobcats up 31-22, the Jaguar defense locked and fought back to cut the score to 31-26 with 1:16 left. The Jags closed it to 3 on a dunk by Michael Williams who scored 8 in the quarter. The quarter ended 31-28 with the Cats on top. Lewis of the Bobcats had 15 points at the half.

Frankie Sullivan opened the third quarter for the Bobcats with a three-pointer. The Bobcats threw in 3 three-pointers in the quarter: Sullivan hit another and Quinton Collins dropped in one. With balanced scoring the Jaguars kept the game close, trailing 46-42 at quarter’s end.

The Jags tied the game (46-46) with two straight baskets to open the fourth. The game was tied again 48-48 with 5:34 to go, and again 52-52 with 4:02 to go, then again at 54-54 with 2:25 left in the game. Williams scored 8 of the last 10 Jag points, while Sullivan

scored 6 in the stretch for the Cats. Calvin Pope broke loose for a lay-up to put the Bobcats ahead 56-54 with 46 seconds left in the game. The Jaguars turned the ball over twice in the closing seconds, failing their chance for a shot.

&uot;I must give credit to Hatch who has a great team. Their gaurds play very well together,&uot; said Jag coach Mark Dukes. &uot;We made some adjustments in the final quarter,&uot; he added, &uot;the 2 turnovers in the end was costly for us. We must learn how to finish the game.&uot;

Lewis topped the Bobcats with 17 points. Sullivan added 14 and Billy Campbell chipped in 10. Michael Williams scored a game high 24 points for the Jaguars and Yamene Coleman contributed 12.