Yantis girls, NH boys wrap up district championships

From Staff Reports

Feb. 3, 2008 - North Hopkins wrapped up the District 18-A boys basketball title Friday night with a defensive battle over the Yantis Owls, while the Lady Owls remained undefeated with a hard-fought win over North Hopkins.

Girls

Yantis 50, North Hopkins 45 

YANTIS - The Yantis Lady Owls kept their District 18-A slate clean at 7-0 and 14-10 overall with a hard fought 50-45 win over North Hopkins in a foul-filled contest.

The teams battled to a 28-28 tie at intermission, but Yantis used an 18-8 run to take a 38-28 lead into the final quarter. The Lady Panthers fought back, but three players fouled out, leaving NH to finish the contest with just four players on the floor.

"I told the girls before the game they better get ready because North Hopkins was coming here to beat us," Yantis coach Jennifer Payne said. "We played good defense most of the night, but our free throw shooting really hurt us."

The Lady Owls only connected on 9-of-29 charity tosses for the game. Yantis' Amanda Collins hit for 19 points with Amanda McKinney adding 14, Rachel Spurgeon eight, Stephanie Hogg seven and Shelby Allen two.

For North Hopkins, Tana Hall had 18, Jessi Mannis 12, Brittany Whaley four, Chasity Hall four, Courtney Loper three and Meagan Lehr two.

Boys

North Hopkins 31, Yantis 28

YANTIS - North Hopkins took a 31-28 defensive war over Yantis to claim the District 18-A title.

The Panthers are now 7-0 in district, 18-7 overall with only winless Union Hill left to play. Yantis falls to 5-2 , 17-11 overall and will finish at home against Cumby on Tuesday night. The Owls have already clinched the second seed for the playoffs.

In the low-scoring game, the Panthers led from the beginning, taking a 12-4 first quarter lead and a 16-8 halftime advantage. The Owls fought back and the score was 24-17 going into the final eight minutes.

With North Hopkins leading 31-25 with under a minute to go, Randy Smith hit a 3-pointer for Yantis to make it 31-28. The Owls defense got the ball back with 16 ticks to go and got off two 3-point efforts, but could not get one to land as time ran out.

"Our kids sold out to defense, and that has been our backbone this season," said NHHS coach Matt Rager. "We did a great job holding a high-scoring team to 28 points."

Yantis' Smith led all scorers with 11 points. Calvin Brey led North Hopkins with eight points. Also scoring for Yantis was Jordan Davis with six, Terry Thompson four, Daniel Cerretani four and Tony Garcia three.

For the Panthers, Canyon Cockrum added six with Roger Santo and Jy Hawkins each getting five, and with four apiece were Robert White and Paco Castro.

"We just missed too many shots in the paint early in the game, but I was proud of the way we kept coming back," Yantis coach Larry Tucker said. "We never gave up and we had a chance to send it into overtime at the end of the game. That's all you can ask in a game like that. The game had a playoff intensity."

After Monday's game against Union Hill, the Panthers will receive a bye to the area round of the playoffs. North Hopkins will likely face Martins Mill, Cayuga or La Poyner.

Yantis will face the third-place team from District 17-A in a bi-district game. At this time, Bloomburg, McLeod and Avery are battling for that spot. Detroit leads the district by one game.

Junior Varsity

Yantis 50, NorthHopkins 14

YANTIS - The Yantis JV boys blasted to a 25-4 lead at the half and went on to coast to a 50-14 win over North Hopkins to give them a perfect 5-0 district record and raise their season total to 16-6.

Chase Phillips led Yantis with 12 points, and Perez had four for North Hopkins.  

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