Panthers’ play catching on

Published 10:43 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Jemison-Thorsby boys basketball series the last few years has been defined by games as close as the two schools themselves.

Not this time.

Jemison on Tuesday held Thorsby without a field goal for the first five minutes of the game—before Andrew Farris’ 3-pointer fell through the net, the hosts had a 14-1 lead—and played what might have been its best game of the season in a 73-41 win.

“The difference tonight was that we maintained,” first-year Jemison coach Stacy McGehee said about his team’s tendency to start fast but then fade.

The Panthers (3-3) set the tone early, forcing Thorsby (2-4) into long jump shots—which were too often missed—dominating the boards both offensively and defensively, and sharing the ball on offense (Jemison had 19 assists as a team).

Jemison effectively mixed full-court and half-court pressure defenses, and the Rebels never looked comfortable.

“We’re getting them to believe in themselves and be aggressive,” McGehee said.

Thorsby didn’t help itself, as the Rebels missed 16 of their 26 free throw attempts.

Jemison led 18-5 after one period, 39-19 at halftime and 65-32 after the third. The Panthers made four 3-pointers in the quarter, including two by Zak Kaylor.

Jemison’s Scottie Hall posted his sixth double-double in as many games, scoring a team-high 17 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

Trey Bryant scored 15 points, and Cornelius Strong (11 points) and Kaylor (10) also scored in double figures.

Aaron Thornton led Thorsby with nine points.