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Jemison boys basketball earns signature victory

Jemison’s boys basketball team avenged a Dec. 8 loss at Central High School of Tuscaloosa with a 49-46 home victory over Central, who entered the game on Monday ranked No. 6 in Class 5A.

“It meant a ton, because most guys on the team had never beaten a team ranked that high,” Jemison guard Wes McGehee said. “Everyone was screaming and giving high-fives after the game.”

The Panthers trailed 13-5 after the first quarter but were able to cut the deficit to four by halftime.

“They got off to a quick start on us, but the guys kept playing hard,” Jemison head coach Stacy McGehee said. “This team that we’ve got doesn’t quit.”

The second half belonged to Jemison, as the Panthers outscored Central thanks in large part to shooting 58 percent as a team from the free throw line.

According to McGehee, at one point during the fourth quarter he looked over and saw three Jemison players sprawled on the court in pursuit of a loose ball.

“We have to out-hustle whoever we’re playing because most teams that we play have a lot more talent than us,” McGehee said. “The guys realize how important each possession is in a game.”

Wes McGehee spurred the effort late in the game by knocking down seven-of-nine free throw attempts during the fourth quarter.

McGehee finished with a team-high 14 points while Ryan Thompson led the way with eight rebounds.

“The crowd appreciates the effort that they see from the boys on the court,” McGehee said. “Our gym is a definite home court advantage with the support that we are getting right now.”

Will Jones provided 13 points off the bench and contributed his share of timely baskets and defensive stops. Tremont Bryant added eight points and three assists.

“They don’t really care who does what as long as we do something good,” McGehee said. “They seem like they have fun playing with each other, and it’s an enjoyment to watch.”

Next up on the schedule for Jemison is a road matchup against American Christian Academy on Thursday.