By Johnny Green
Texas High was in position for a sweep of Ashdown’s boys and girls basketball teams Friday at Tiger Center until Lamar Wilkerson decided to take control.
Ashdown’s all-stater scored 21 of his game-high 28 points to rally the Panthers to a 55-47 victory over the Tigers.
Texas High’s girls fought off a fourth-quarter rally to edge the Lady Panthers, 52-49.
Wilkerson managed just 19 points in the first half, allowing Texas High an 8-point advantage. It wasn’t a good half for the Tigers until Zane Dodson came off the bench to score eight points. The Tigers’ leading scorer, CJ Kelley, was held to a single 3-pointer in the first two quarters. He scored just six points for the game.
Five of Texas High’s points came on buzzer-beaters. Sophomore Michael Thomas had a 3-pointer in the first, and Dodson (layup in the second).
Despite tight defense from the Tigers, Wilkerson caught fire in the third quarter with 14 points, including a 3-pointer that gave the Panthers their first lead at 33-32
Meanwhile, the Tigers managed only six points in the period, all by Dodson. Ashdown took a 35-33 lead into the fourth quarter. Thomas had all his eight points in the opening period.
Ashdown contributed to Texas High’s first-quarter margin by missing its first 11 free throws. It was a statistic that would also be a Texas High negative in the final period.
Wilkerson continues assault in fourth quarter
Wilkerson continued his assault with a 3-pointer and three free throws in the fourth quarter. The Panthers were 10 of 11 overall from the foul line in the fourth quarter, while the Tigers missed half their six attempts, including two at the front of 1-and-1 situations.
Nortoris Nelson chipped in with 13 points and Jacolby Williams had 12 for Ashdown. Dodson was the only double-figure scorer for Texas High with a career-high 20 points. Ben De Priest had nine, including 3-of-3 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 1-0, the Lady Tigers scored 11 straight points and never trailed again. Ashdown made it close at the end.
The big run included points from seven players. Before the quarter ended Texas High had buried four 3-pointers. Two were by Kerrighan Dunn, who finished with four and 18 total points.
Trailing 31-17 at halftime, Ashdown’s defense stiffened. It held the Tigers to six points in the third quarter and pulled within three points with a barrage (5) 3-pointers. Jukarra Greenlee and Makhia Cook had two each.
Dunn added her other two threes, and Emma Prince nailed her second in the fourth quarter. Texas High matched Ashdown’s 15-point total. Vince Thomas, who led the Panthers with 14 points, kept her team in the game with eight in the fourth.
Dunn was the only double-figure scorer for Texas High, but 11 Tigers scored in the game. Blaire Gentry and Cook added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Both teams had eight 3-pointers. Ashdown had a 34-30 rebounding edge.