MMS rally ends a point shy
Sara Reid — Special to the Weakley County Pres
The South Fulton Red Devils led for the majority of the contest, but the Panthers staged a late fourth-quarter rally that nearly proved successful, but ultimately ended in a 30-29 loss. The MMS Lady Panthers made it a split by downing South Fulton, 36-16.
Turnovers plagued the first quarter as both squads struggled to find a rhythm in the boys contest, but KeShawn McManus drove in for a layup to put the visitors on the board, 2-0. Alex Ross recorded an offensive board and a field goal for the Panthers to tie the score at the two-minute mark and Ty Brown followed with a basket to give Martin the 4-2 lead. With just half a minute left, however, Jacoby Garman connected on a fade-away to tie the game and Tyquis Johnson was fouled on a 3-point shot at the buzzer and hit one of three to give Martin a 5-4 advantage after one quarter.
Kelly opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer to increase Martin’s lead, 8-4, but Tymaine Strickland answered to cut the lead to two. Kelly hit one of two from the line as did McManus and the Red Devils used a mini run to go ahead 13-9.
Mathew Castleman broke South Fulton’s momentum with a layup, but the visitors out-scored the Panthers 11-6 for the quarter and took a 15-11 lead into halftime.
Johnson scored the first basket for Martin to start the third, but the Devils used a 5-0 run to jump out to a 20-13 lead. The Panthers pulled a run of their own to move within two with just over a minute remaining, but Garman was fouled at the buzzer and hit one of two to increase the South Fulton lead to 24-20.
Houston Haag connected from long range to open the fourth, but McManus answered to keep the lead at three, 26-23. The visitors increased the lead to 28-23, but the Panthers got a layup from Johnson and one free throw from Ross to cut the lead to 28-26. Strickland sank two bonus free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining and even though Kelly’s long-distance shot was good, the Panthers fell short of the victory by a single point.
Both Kelly and Ross led Martin with seven points each. Garman and McManus had eight each for South Fulton.
In the earlier game, the Lady Panthers had little trouble with the visitors as they handed them a 36-16 defeat.
Martin came out firing and received scoring production from four players while holding SF to a pair of free throws and a 13-2 deficit after one.
The Lady Red Devils found the range in the second quarter and turned in six points, but Martin out-scored them by one and held a 20-8 lead at the half.
The third quarter sealed the deal as the visitors were held scoreless and Kaley Leyhue put up six of Martin’s seven points to increase the lead to 27-8.
South Fulton scored eight in the final frame, but the Lady Panthers put up nine and took the 20-point victory, 36-16.
Kaley Leyhue led Martin with 13 points. Melanie Johnson posted four for South Fulton.