January 23, 2013

Double bonus

Lady Raiders win; Collins scores 1,000th point

Southeast Whitfield’s Megan Collins didn’t know how close she was to scoring her 1,000th point on the basketball court.

So when the senior finally did in the Lady Raiders’ win Tuesday at home, she was caught a bit off guard.

Southeast routed Ridgeland 53-20 in a Sub-region 7B-4A contest as Collins tallied 16 points, with the final one bringing her to the prestigious career mark.

Ahead 44-18 with 28 seconds left to play in the third quarter, Collins sank two free throws, and the announcer noted the second was her 1,000th point. It was actually her 998th, but on the next possession, she made a baseline jumper with 6.3 seconds left in the quarter. Southeast coach Mike Durham called timeout and took Collins out of the game to a standing ovation from the home crowd.

“I knew she needed 16 points,” Durham said. “I told the guy, ‘All she needs is two, and if she scores it, I want a timeout right then. I don’t care what time it is.’ I wanted everybody to (recognize her). That’s a huge accomplishment.

“This has been a countdown the last three or four weeks. ... We added them up the other night, and she was 16 away. She got the 16 tonight.”

Collins said she had no clue she was at 984 points entering the game, so it was tough to summarize how she felt about the accomplishment.

“I had no idea,” she said.. “I didn’t know I was that close. ... I was actually kind of confused.”

The Lady Raiders (13-6, 5-1) scored the first six points of the game and led 13-2 at the end of the first quarter thanks to three straight possessions for Ridgeland (2-13, 0-6) ending in steals by Angelica Herrera that resulted in two easy Southeast buckets and a Collins 3-pointer. Herrera finished with six steals, while the Lady Panthers turned the ball over 19 times.

Southeast led 29-8 at halftime.

“We’ve been playing much better,” Ridgeland coach Matt King said. “We have a young team, and a young team sometimes has slippage. That was a bad slippage.”

Serena Ramsey added 10 points for the Lady Raiders off the bench. Tavi Parris also helped Southeast’s offense by scoring 14 points, with the final nine off 3-pointers.

For Ridgeland, Katy Phillips led the team with six points. Only five players scored for the Lady Panthers.

Ridgeland boys 57, Southeast 47: A dismal 7-for-29 shooting performance from the free-throw line left Raiders coach Jake Dickey with few words to express his disappointment.

“It doesn’t get much worse than that,” Dickey said.

The final three free throws were good, which means Southeast (3-16, 2-4) was 4-for-26 at one point. The Raiders finished the game at 24 percent from the line. Add in nine missed layups, and Southeast left 40 points off the scoreboard.

And on defense, the Raiders had few answers to stop Jalen Smith. He led the Panthers (5-13) with 23 points, often weaving around Southeast defenders like trees in a forest.

“The hardest thing we have with (Smith) is controlling him,” Panthers coach David Stoker said. “He’s maturing. He’s getting there. He’s fun to watch, too, because he can make plays.”

Keyshawn Fortson added 10 points for Ridgeland.

Southeast trailed 16-10 at the end of the third quarter, with Devin Gentry’s 3-pointer at the buzzer sparking a 12-0 run for the Raiders that gave them a 19-16 lead. However, Smith sank two free throws, got a steal on the inbound and layup and got another steal and finished the run with a 3-point play to give Ridgeland a 23-19 lead. The Panthers led 29-24 at halftime and 40-31 entering the final period.

Gentry, Bryce Middlebrooks and Gavin Hill each scored nine points to lead the Raiders.

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