FMHS comes up short against Hatch

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 3, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

Ever since the Alabama High School Athletic Association changed the number of days a basketball team could play together during the summer from one to seven, Woodie Jackson and his group of Rams have been taking full advantage.

That rule change has allowed the Rams to play in 18 different games this summer at four different camps: It also set-up Friday’s "December in July" showdown between the Rams and R.C. Hatch Bobcats. The Bobcats proved to be the better team, posting a 67-53 victory.

Following the tip, both teams traded possessions and rebounds for the first 2:45 of the quarter before Hatch jumped out to a 2-0 lead. A pair of free throws from Marion’s Justin Johnson evened the game at 2-2.

Hatch’s Kejuan Brooks sank one of two free throws that sparked a 7-0 run that lasted a majority of the period, until Johnson was fouled again, missing both free throws.

Cordero Melton, however, was there for the rebound and the basket to cut the lead to five, 9-4. Melton tacked on another basket when he powered through a Bobcat defender, cutting the lead to three, 9-6.

But, Hatch pushed the lead back to six when Frankie Sullivan was fouled behind the three-point arc and sank all three free throws. At the end of the first period, Hatch had a six-point lead that they never relinquished.

Both teams exchanged baskets over the course of the second period with Hatch’s lead swelling to as much as 12 points at one point.

With time ticking down in the period, Marion had begun to make a small run. Devan Dunnican sank one of two free throws cutting the lead to 23-14. Edward Hinkle did his part as the first half ended, sinking a pair of three’s.

At the end of the first half, Marion trailed 30-22.

The third and fourth quarters of the game were just that – up-tempo.

The Bobcats ran the floor on the home standing Rams, pushing their eight-point halftime lead into as many as 17 points throughout the period.

Francis Marion was never able to get back into the game.

With the lead stretching to 21 points through the duration of the fourth period, Jackson was able to find some bright points.

His squad, led by baskets from Hinkle, Kelum Curry and Antonio Collins, cut the lead into a respectable 15-point deficit.

As time ticked down in the game, Curry came to life hitting back-to-back three-pointers. The second three he shot was directly in the face of a Hatch defender drawing the foul for the rare four-point play. Curry sank the free throw, but the Rams still fell short 67-53.

Hatch finished the day-long camp unbeaten. The Bobcats defeated Sunshine High School 63-40 and then held Calhoun to a season-low 32 points. Hatch won, 57-32.

Marion was also unbeaten going into the game against Hatch.