Jemison hosts Panther Classic tournament
Published 11:33 am Tuesday, August 30, 2022
By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer
Jemison High School hosted the 2022 Panther Classic Volleyball Tournament for the first time since 2019 on Aug. 27. Jemison invited seven high school teams to the tournament this year.
Action got started at 8 a.m. with Jemison, Thorsby High School, Woodlawn High School and Cornerstone School in pool A. Chilton County High School, Billingsley High School, West Blocton High School and Rehobeth High School were in pool B.
Jemison advanced to the championship game against Rehobeth, the furthest of the three Chilton County high schools competing in the tournament. With the games split 1-1, the Panthers dropped the final set 15-13 to pick up second place in their home tournament.
“My team has come together and played as a team, had a great camaraderie and showed up and showed out,” Jemison coach Melissa Baswell said.
The two pools of teams played three games, one against the other three teams in their pool, in the opening round of the tournament. The first-place teams from each pool moved on to play the second-place teams from the opposite pool.
Jemison picked up 2-0 wins in all three of their pool A games and faced off against Chilton County in the first semifinal. The Panthers won game one 25-21 and game two 25-15 to advance in straight sets to the championship game.
“Sometimes I feel like in regular season games people get comfortable … So, in tournaments you expect the unexpected because you do not know who you are going to get,” Baswell said. “Tournaments are what prepares you for the playoffs, and it pushes you like the playoffs and area tournaments.”
With a key player out for the Panthers, Kyndal Bolton, Harley Genard, Makayla Lang, Kinsley Martin and Emiley Melchor all contributed to help the Panthers to four wins in the tournament.
Chilton County picked up wins over Billingsley and West Blocton in pool play. The Tigers won sets 25-17 and 25-14 to win the game 2-0 over Billingsley. CCHS also took the game 2-0 over West Blocton.
“(The tournament) helped us with the importance of communication on and off the court, and playing as one,” Chilton County coach Keeley Yeargan said.
Macey Pierce took home all-tournament honors for the Tigers as their standout player. Sara Newton and Kendell Fincher also contribute heavily to the Tigers two wins in the tournament.
Jemison named Martin and Lang as the Panthers all-tournament performers.
Thorsby named Brooklyn Reeser the Rebels all-tournament player for her performances.