Calera boys fall, girls triumph at Jemison
By BRANDON SUMRALL/Special to the Reporter
JEMISON — Fresh off a county championship on Jan. 12, the Jemison Panthers looked to continue the momentum against a visiting Calera Eagles team Jan. 16.
The Eagles didn’t exactly make it easy as the Panthers had to dig deep to come back from a double-digit deficit in the closing minutes to pull out a 58-55 victory.
A 14-point (including four-of-seven from 3-point range) first period by the Eagles’ Ronnie Clark put the Panthers (10-9 overall, 2-2 area) in an early hole, 18-8.
With Clark taking a rest most of the second period, the Panthers held the Eagles (8-8, 2-2) to just three-of-13 shooting in the period.
Calera still led at halftime, 27-17.
Both teams stepped up the offensive effort in the third period. Jordan Bishop put up 10 points for the Eagles, and B.J. Kornegay put up seven for the Panthers.
However, even after outscoring the Eagles 24-20 in the period, the Panthers still trailed 47-41.
With the Panthers on the comeback trail, two free throws from Jemison’s Randy Satterfield tied the game at 55-all with 2:40 left to play. One minute and thirty-six seconds later, Kornegay gave the Panthers their first lead of the game — a lead they didn’t relinquish.
Clark had 23 points, five rebounds, three steals and a block for Calera.
Jemison’s varsity girls team didn’t fare quite as well as their counterparts as the Eagles pulled away in the second half on their way to a 42-19 win.
A back-and-forth first period saw the Eagles (14-3, 3-0) come away with a slight 9-8 lead, thanks in large part to six first-period points by Kalen Starks.
Starks’ hot hand continued into the second period as she added seven more for the Eagles, but four points by Cassani Steele kept the Panthers (9-8, 2-2) within striking distance at the half, 16-12.
A tough one-of-nine shooting performance from the field put the Panthers in a hole heading to the final period, as the Eagles pulled away, 32-15.
With the Panthers continuing to find their mark on the offensive side, and the Eagles defense continuing to force turnovers, Calera cruised through the fourth period to the win.
Starks led the way for Calera with 21 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four blocks.
Laura Vinzant had 11 points, nine rebounds and four steals for Jemison.
The Panthers’ junior varsity boys survived a late Eagles surge to hold on for the win, 36-29.