Those cats again …

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 21, 2007

Strong play late gives Panthers season sweep over Saints

By George L. Jones

The Selma Times-Journal

Email newsletter signup

It must be Southside’s year.

It certainly is their week. The Panthers, after moving up to the top spot in 4A in the most recent rankings, took their second win of the weekend Saturday night over rival Selma.

Fontano Watters scored a game-high 21 points, including seven in overtime, to help lift Southside (13-2) to a 68-64 win. Watters was 5-of-6 from the free-throw line and scored all but five of the Panthers’ 12 points in the extra period.

Selma’s Wendell Young put back a teammate’s miss to tie the game at 60 with 2:34 left. It was also Young who hit a layup to tie the game at 56 with 26 seconds left and send it into overtime. But after his shot in OT, it was pretty much all Southside.

The Panthers got out on a 6-0 run and sent the Selma faithful filing for the exits.

Cameron Turner scored eight of his points in the first half and led Selma with 14.

Hot shooting early made it appear Selma would have the upper hand in the ball game. Its dominance close to the goal was also a factor early on. The Saints (9-8) outscored Southside 42-16 in the paint, but failed to convert on easy layups when they mattered most.

Although the Panthers were forced to settle for outside jumpers, it seemed everything they threw up was falling. Of their 10 first-half field goals, only one of them came closer than 15 feet.

Selma held on for a slight 29-27 lead going into the locker room.

Southside managed to come out on top of a seesaw third and go into the final period of regulation ahead 42-39. The Panthers were looking to put the game away early and went on a 9-0 run to go ahead 51-41 with 4:23 left.

But Selma’s big men came alive over the last half of the quarter and powered the Saints in a 15-5 run to close out the fourth.

Young began OT with a layup to give Selma its final lead. Young also reached double figures for Selma, scoring 10. Trenton Woods had 13, and Deundre Benjamin had nine.

Willie Cooper scored 15 for Southside, Jerel Peoples had 14 and Rickey Moore hit four 3-point shots – including one in overtime – to account for 12 points.