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Jaguars defend home court

Wilcox Central overcame an early 8-point deficit to take the opening contest of the Wilcox Central Holiday Tournament with a 56-44 win over Marengo on Friday.

The win was a confidence booster for a young, inexperienced Wilcox Central team.

“I have young players that are really trying to step up to the plate,” said Wilcox Central coach Robin Williams. “Each game I think we are getting better. I think it’s coming together.”

The Jaguars seemed out of sync early, and Marengo capitalized with a 9-0 first quarter run sparked by 3-pointers from Latina Pritchett and Cassandra Thomas to forge ahead 16-8.

But Wilcox Central responded with a 16-0 run of its own. A Sheremy Johnson 3-pointer put the Jaguars back in the lead at the 6:30 mark of the second quarter, and the Jaguars scored six more unanswered points.

A Kim Lanier 3-pointer with 4:03 left in the half put an end to the Panthers’ drought of more than five minutes, but the damage was done. Despite a late scare, the Jaguars retained the lead for the rest of the contest.

Two Pritchett free throws trimmed the Panthers’ deficit to three at 36-33 late in the third quarter. But Wilcox Central had one run left in the tank.

A 13-0 run triggered by a 3-pointer and 3-point play from Faith Jones extended the lead to 48-33 and sealed the win.

Glericia Gilbersleeze led the Jaguars with 14 points and Johnson finished with 13.

Thomas led all scorers with 18 points and Pritchett contributed 15.