French Camp enjoyed an outstanding beginning of the basketball season with two victories each by the boys and girls teams. The boys defeated Starkville Christian 44-42 and Hebron 88-59. The Lady Panthers were winners against Starkville Christian 36-28 and Hebron 45-40.
The boys start was especially impressive because the team did not have any preseason practice sessions due to most of the players also playing football. The football season ended on a Friday and the basketball season began the following Monday against Starkville Christian.
“We actually handled out the jerseys at the game Monday night,” said coach Robert Leathers. “We did some stuff over the summer so they had some idea.”
French Camp was able to get a lead against Starkville Christian in the fourth quarter. It was 44-39 before a Starkville Christian three-pointer at the buzzer resulted in a two-point victory.
French Camp was led by three of its football players. C.J. Johnson had 16 points, Darrion Smith 12 and Coleman McKenzie 9 on three 3-pointers.
French Camp broke open the Hebron game by outscoring the Eagles 24-12 in the second quarter for a 26-13 halftime lead. Johnson scored 34 points and Smith 24. But game honors went Hebron's Dash Thurman with 42 points.
Turnovers were a problem for the Lady Panthers, forcing French Camp to overcome halftime deficits in both games. Hebron led 23-13 at the half before being outscored by French Camp 32-17 after intermission,
“We had 29 turnovers total and 20 came in the first half. We tried to take care of it a little better in the second half,” said first-year head coach Polly LeVert.
Jordan Carter had 15 points, Abby Robertson 12 and Jasmine Bonty 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Carter scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds against Starkville Christian.
“We have not been taking care of the ball,” LeVert said. “I feel once we get settled in we'll do a better job.”
Lady Eagles earn two victories
By Laurence Hilliard
Torrid scoring by Carly Peterson led the Grace Christian girls basketball team to victories over Amory Christian 48-35 and Mt. Zion Christian 56-16. The boys team split the two games.
Peterson had 24 points against Amory Christian and 37 in the rout of Mt. Zion. “They could not stop her. She was on fire,” coach Jamey Willers said of the Mt. Zion game.
The Lady Eagles had one other double figure scorer in each game, Caroline Robbins with 17 points against Amory Christian and Ashton Harris with 11 against Mt. Zion.
In the Amory Christian game, Willers was impressed by Robbins’ production, “She had a big girl battling her down low. It was pretty amazing that she got 17 points. She worked hard for every one of them.”
The Eagles were edged by Amory Christian 44-43, but rebounded with a 57-47 victory over Mt. Zion.
Sophomores Bonner Brownlee and Jacob Phillips both had a double-double for Grace Christian against Amory Christian, Brownlee with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Philips with 12 and 10.
The Eagles scored 20 points in the fourth quarter after trailing 27-23 through three, but came up just short.
Behind the play of Brownlee and Phillips, Grace Christian overcame a 24-6 deficit after one quarter to defeat Mt. Zion. Brownlee had 29 points and 10 rebounds and Phillips added 12 and 7.
“We are executing in the half court better and better, but we turn the ball over too much,” said coach Jason Morgan. “We have to take better care of the ball.”
He added that there is also room for defensive improvement. “Our transition defense and rebounding are too soft. We must improve these two aspects of our D.”