Panthers get stung

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 1, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

With :26.1 seconds on the clock, Coach Willie Moore and his Dallas County Hornets found themselves in the position he felt they had the potential to be in all season long.

The Hornets had led the No. 2 Southside Panthers for a majority of the second half, but after a clutch triple from Jeffery Anderson, that lead had dwindled to two-points, 63-61. Senior Hornet Josh Spears was fouled and sent to the charity stripe.

The senior drained both freebies to push the Hornets back ahead by four, 65-61, and would go on to win by six 69-63. Spears finished the night with 16 points and Southside’s Anderson finished with 28 points.

The Panthers have now dropped two in a row after losing to Trinity last week. The Hornets are in the middle of an eight-game win streak with their most recent victory coming in the form of Maplesville.

Against the Panthers, the Hornets found themselves on the low side of the scoreboard 10-8 early in the first period. That’s when they flipped the switch and bolted out to a 10-0 run to claim a 16-10 lead.

The Panthers snapped the run with an inside basket, but a triple from Dallas County’s Rafel Miller pushed the score back to 19-12. Miller finished the night with 22 points. The Panthers, however, reclaimed the lead in the second period with a 14-10 run that was capped by a three-pointer at the buzzer. At the intermission, the Panthers led 36-32.

Dallas County recaptured the lead with a 10-4 run to open the third frame. They were able to parlay that run to a 50-44 lead at the end of the period.

The Hornets kept the momentum and tempo in their favor in the final frame, despite the Panthers coming within as many as three points of the lead.

When the final horn sounded, the Hornets were on top, 69-63. Felix Baker also chipped in 13 points for the Hornets. For Southside, Willie Cooper added 10 points and Brandon Gordon added 11 points.

The Hornets will travel to Greensboro and face Bibb County in the first round of the area tournament. Southside will host the area tournament and open against St. James in the first round.