Both Wildcat teams headed to Jackson in Class 3A tournament
Both Kemper County varsity basketball teams are headed to Jackson this week as they have advanced in the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A state basketball tournaments.
The teams have qualified for the semifinals in their respective brackets and were to play Wednesday. The Lady Wildcats will take on Belmont at 9 a.m. The winner advances to the finals on Saturday when they take on the winner between Kossuth and Crystal Springs starting at 1 p.m.
The Kemper County boys were to play Booneville at noon. The winner will advance to the state finals against the winners between St. Andrews and Senatobia Saturday at 3 p.m.
Because of last month’s ice storm, the tournament dates were pushed back and teams had to play three games last week with the girls taking the court on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while the boys played on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
The Kemper County girls started the week with a 49-21 win over West Marion. They then defeated Velma Jackson 55-36 and Jefferson County 64-54.
Kemper County trailed Velma Jackson 28-26 at the half. But coach Ronnie Slaughter made some adjustments at the half and the Lady Wildcats turned the game around. Kemper County outscored Velma Jackson 29-8 in the second half and took the victory.
Chantel Stringfellow led with 21 points. Zariyah Moss scored 12 points while Shalasia Darden scored eight.
The Lady Wildcats then went up 16-8 after the first quarter in their game with Jefferson Davis. Both teams scored 15 points in the second quarter and the score stood at 31-23 at the half in Kemper’s favor.
Jefferson Davis outscored Kemper 17-13 in the third quarter. But Kemper came back to outpoint Jefferson Davis 20-14 in the fourth quarter and took the win.
Stringfellow finished with 20 points while Moss scored 14.
“I think we are ready to play,” said Slaughter. “These girls played hard last week and now we are two wins away from being state champions.”
Kemper County rolled through the competition last week as they defeated West Marion 78-45, Yazoo County 81-64 and Tylertown 70-50.
Kemper County led Yazoo County 16-15 after the first quarter. The Wildcats limited Yazoo County to 14 points in the second quarter while scoring 21 and led 37-29 at the half. The Wildcats carried a 54-44 lead into the fourth quarter and outscored Yazoo County 27-20 in the final eight minutes to ice the victory.
James Granger scored 28 points to lead Kemper County. Quavion McClendon scored 13 while Jamar Grace and Ty Steele both put in 12.
The Wildcats and Tylertown went back and forth. But in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats outscored Tylertown 20-11 to clinch the win.
Granger scored 23 points and McClendon and Steele both scored 12.