Pelham beats Mortimer Jordan, gets rematch with OM in championship

Published 9:34 pm Monday, November 19, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

KIMBERLY – The Pelham Panthers used size and determination to improve to 2-1 on the 2018-19 basketball season thanks to a 59-50 victory against the host Mortimer Jordan Blue Devils in the semifinals of the 2018 Jeff Dennis Jewelers Invitational.

With the win, the Panthers earned a spot against Oak Mountain in the championship game; a rematch of a contest that took place on Thursday, Nov. 15, and ended in the Eagles’ favor.

Early in the game, it was obvious what the game plan for the Panthers was as they went down low and down low often in the first period to their two tallest players, Chris Brown and Kendan Maddox.

They ended up with all 14 of Pelham’s points in the opening period as Brown hit three field goals and both of his free throws, while Maddox powered his way to three field goals as well. The combination of those two, as well as limiting Mortimer Jordan to four field goals in the quarter gave Pelham a 14-10 lead at the end of the period.

In the second quarter, Brown was still a factor down low, but overall the Blue Devils played much better on the defensive end of the floor.

They allowed six more points to Brown, but only two other field goals to other players, which limited the Panthers to just 10 points.

Pelham’s defense, however, continued to also play well and limited Mortimer Jordan to just four made shots for the second consecutive quarter, as they also ended the period with 10 points giving the Panthers a slim 24-20 lead at the half, in which Brown had 14 of his team’s 24 points.

In the second half, however, he had much more help on that end of the floor, as both teams caught fire from the field in the third quarter.

Pelham got points from six different players in the quarter, while Mortimer Jordan saw four different players score, as the two teams combined for 40 points in the period.

The Panthers jumped up by seven points thanks to a strong move in the post by Maddox followed by a steal and layup from Blake Floyd, but the Blue Devils answered quickly with a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to one point at 30-29.

The rest of the quarter went back-and-forth, but thanks to five straight points from Brown late in the period, Pelham was able to extend its lead to 45-39 heading to the final frame.

Brown picked up right where he left off to start the fourth thanks to a steal and layup that extended the Panthers’ lead to eight points.

Mortimer Jordan answered with a 5-0 run, but Brown then answered with back-to-back offensive boards and put backs, something that became key throughout the night as the Panthers killed the Blue Devils on the offensive glass.

Floyd then added a 3-pointer shortly after to put Pelham on a 7-0 run and give the team a 54-44 advantage.

Mortimer Jordan knocked down a 3-pointer and one of two free throws at the line to cut the lead to six at 54-48, but the Panthers then got five consecutive points from Jacob Shumate to seal thea game and win by the final of 59-50.

Brown led the Panthers with a game-high 25 points, while Maddox added 10 and Shumate an additional nine.