Panthers trip in overtime thriller

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 6, 2006

The Times-Journal

CAMDEN

– The intensity, the excitement, the talent and the capacity crowd were all there Friday night. It signified playoff basketball.

Though the post season doesn’t start until next week, the Wilcox Central High School Jaguars and the Southside High School Panthers battled each other as though they were.

They played to a stand-off in the 32 minutes of regulation.

But the Wilcox Central defense held Southside to one field goal in the overtime and went on to win 64-58.

“I thought we should have won in regulation,” said Jaguar coach Mark Dukes.

With :19 seconds left in regulation and WC on top 55-53, Trammell Coleman missed the front end of a one-and-one.

The Panthers’ Fonaton Water sank two free throws with :04 seconds left to send the game into overtime. “I told Coleman that he was the key in the OT,”

Dukes said.

Coleman knocked down two straight jumpers in the first minute of overtime and that proved to be the difference of the game.

Both teams played “hands in the face defense” to keep the game close.

But Wilcox lead 16-13 after one quarter of play.

The largest lead of the game was six points midway through the second quarter with the Jaguars on top.

But Southside outscored WC 15-9 in the second quarter to lead at the half 28-25.

There were five lead changes and a tie in the 3rd quarter, but it ended with the Jags up by one.

In the 4th there were four lead changes.

The Panthers turned the ball over in their first two possessions in the overtime, both were offensive fouls.

“We wanted to play all our players for these playoff type situations,” said Panther coach Wilbur Hamilton. “There are some late game situations we need to work on.”

Wilcox Central boosts their record to 19-7 for the season with one game remaining before the area tournament.

Alquan Mendenhall topped all scorers with 23 points for the Jags including six triples.

Cortez Irby added 20 points. Coleman, who had 9 points dished out 8 assists.

Jeffery Anderson led Southside with 14 points.

Water finished with 11 and Tim Sanders contributed 10 points.