Jemison comeback rims out against Marbury

Published 4:24 pm Friday, January 26, 2018

Jemison had a look from three-point range to extend the game and force overtime against Marbury on Jan. 23, but it rimmed out and the Panthers lost at home 57-54.

It was a deflating end to the game, after Jemison had worked on chipping away at the deficit for much of the second half.

Things seemed to be going the Panthers’ way after Daniel Martin hit a three-pointer at the top of the key to cut the Marbury lead to three with 5.5 seconds left.

Eric Evans followed up the basket by stealing the ensuing inbound pass and quickly calling timeout to stop the clock with 2.8 seconds remaining.

The play out of the timeout got the ball to Martin, who launched a shot beyond the arc from the left corner of the court and right in front of the Jemison bench.

A Marbury defender played tight defense against the shot, and left very little room for Martin to follow through on his shot.

According to Jemison head coach Undra Rush, Jemison’s inability to convert from the free throw line played a major role in the game’s outcome.

The Panthers made less than half of their free throw attempts.

“Free throws win games or lose games,” Rush said. “We had over 20 attempts, made 10 and only lost by three. We’ve got to have those free throws.”

Jemison suffered a slow start and trailed 18-9 at the end of the first quarter.

However, seniors Ryan Thompson and Ty Leachman came off the bench and provided an immediate spark to the team, as Leachman drilled his first three-point attempt and Thompson got some offensive put backs.

“I’ve got my young guys starting off,” Rush said. “I’m trying to get my older guys to see that the folks behind you are pushing, so you need to give it everything you’ve got when you’re on the court.”

According to Rush, he preaches intensity and hustle from his players at all times and against every opponent.

“I tell the guys that if your socks aren’t soaking with sweat at the end of the game, you haven’t done anything,” Rush said.

The Panthers trailed 29-22 at the halftime break. Freshman Nathan Johns was a bright spot in the game and finished with nine points, seven of which came in the first half.

Thompson continued his hot play by cleaning up the boards and finding points around the rim, especially in the fourth quarter as Jemison was in the midst of its comeback bid.

“They did show heart,” Rush said.

Thompson led the way with a team-high 19 points, while Leachman added to the cause with 11 points.