Running Watters

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 9, 2006

Panthers guard dominates in first meeting of season between Selma, Southside

By George L. Jones

The Selma Times-Journal

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The Selma Saints have more than a month to think of an answer for Southside’s Fontano Watters.

They might want to start by meeting him behind the 3-point line.

Watters hit four outside shots and scored a game-high 25 points in the Panthers’ 58-46 win Saturday night.

Although Southside’s home fans got involved in the game right from the jump, the Panthers took a little while to really get warmed up.

But when they did, they never lost steam.

Leading just 27-24 after the first half, Southside ripped off 11 unanswered points early the third for a 38-29 lead. It was the Panthers’ biggest lead since going ahead 23-18 with three minutes, 10 seconds left in the second quarter.

Selma didn’t get a significant run going until the middle of the fourth. Trailing by 11, The Saints went on a 6-0 spurt to cut the deficit to 51-40.

That only woke the Panthers back up, and they essentially finished the game by scoring five unanswered and going up 56-42 with 1:09 on the clock.

That sent the fans filing into the exit lines and cinched the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

The series will shift to Selma’s court Saturday, Jan. 20.

Willie Cooper joined teammate Watters in double figures with 13 points.

Cameron Turner led Selma with 24.

There were seven lead changes in the game, six of them in the first half.

Turner scored seven in the first quarter and gave his team a 12-9 lead on a 3-pointer with 2:10 left. He hit a triple to spark another run for the Saints in the second, and they led 18-17.

Trenton Woods hit a 3-pointer to give Selma a 29-27 lead early in the third, and it was the last time the Saints led.

All night long, it seemed like there were six Selma players on the floor instead of five.

The Saints swarmed rival Southside and rolled to a 65-40 win.

Runs of 8-2 and 7-1 did enough early damage to give Selma a 19-7 lead after one and set the tempo for the rest of the game.

Selma used the transition game and got out to a 36-16 halftime lead.

Despite a game-high 19 points from Kelsey Brown, the Panthers couldn’t overcome costly turnovers.

Erica Lumpkin scored nine of her 15 points in the first half and pulled down seven rebounds to lead the way for Selma. Keisha Moore scored 13, and Ashley Grimes scored 12.

Southside’s biggest run came when it scored five unanswered to make it a 32-16 game with a minute left in the first half.

Selma put the hammer down and went on a 9-0 run to end the third with a 54-26 lead.