Eighth grader hits game winner as DC tops Southside

Published 10:54 pm Thursday, December 22, 2016

Last week, Chance Lee was leading Martin Middle School to an undefeated season. On Thursday night, he was back on the basketball court as the hero for Dallas County High School.

Lee hit two layups in the final minutes as Dallas County (6-3) rallied from seven down to defeat Southside 59-56 in the first round of the Dallas County Schools Tournament. Lee, an eighth grader, was playing in his first ever varsity basketball game.

“He wasn’t afraid tonight and I wasn’t afraid to play him,” said Dallas County coach Willie Moore.

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Southside led by 55-48 after a dunk by DeQuan Johnson, but the Hornets turned up the pressure, sped up the Panthers and started their comeback.

Josh Benford made a layup to pull Dallas County within five and Kedrick Wilson’s 3-pointer closed the gap to two.

After a free throw, Lee made a layup to put the Hornets up 56-55, Dallas County’s first lead since the opening minute of the third quarter.

On Dallas County’s next possession, Lee made another shot, extending Dallas County’s lead to 58-55.

Lee said he was nervous when he took both shots, although his demeanor didn’t show it.

“I hope I don’t miss it,” Lee said he was thinking.

He didn’t and the Hornets needed them both to hold on for the win.  Both teams added a free throw in the final minute and Southside had several chances to tie the game in the final minute.

The win moves Dallas County into Friday’s championship game against Selma. Hornets coach Willie Moore said he hopes to get better effort from his team because he didn’t think they played well Thursday.

“We had really good practices leading up to it, but we didn’t bring that energy to the game tonight,” Moore said.

Back to back dunks by Johnson gave the Panthers a 36-30 lead in the third quarter. He scored 15 points on the night to lead Southside.

Southside held onto the lead and a 5-0 run looked to put the game away midway through the fourth quarter.

Armaahd Olds and Johnson made back shots to put Southside up seven before the final Hornets’ rally. Dallas County went on an 11-3 run to end the game.

Southside’s consolation prize isn’t a bad one.

The Panthers get a chance to play rival Selma on a neutral court.

Meanwhile, the Hornets will try to beat Keith for the second time this year. Lee knows what Dallas County will have to do better moving forward.

“Play with our heart, box out, hustle and have more passion about the game,” Lee said.
Selma, Southside to meet for girls title

Selma and Southside will meet for the girls championship Friday in the Dallas County Schools Tournament.

Jamya Smith led the way as the Saints (10-1) overwhelmed Keith 62-34 Thursday. Smith made six 3-pointers and scored 22 points as the Saints pulled away to reach the championship game.

Southside dominated Dallas County for a 42-26 victory. Kionah Page scored 19 points to lead the way for the Panthers. Sharita Benjamin and Kylan Brown had 6 points apiece. The Saints and Panthers are scheduled to play at 6 p.m. Friday.
Ellwood 59, Linden 58 (Boys)

Justin Bufford had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds as Ellwood Christian beat Linden for the second time in three days.

Markesis McMillan scored 15 points and Chris Lee had 14 points and 7 rebounds as Ellwood (4-4) evened its record.

back at .500. Mel Phillips also had 10 points and 12 rebounds.