Bobcat Shootout ends with a bang


Published: Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 6:23 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 12:00 a.m.
The third annual Bobcat Shootout ended Saturday night with a bang.
P.K. Yonge and host Buchholz each picked up overtime wins, and Columbia edged Hawthorne, 61-59, in the two-day event's final three contests.
After struggling most of the evening, the Blue Wave overcame a 17-point deficit in the fourth quarter to top Class 5A's fourth-ranked team, Lake Howell, 68-58.
In doing so, P.K. Yonge (11-6) got big threes from Chauncey Lampkin and Reggie Johnson in the fourth, and saw Eric Rutledge score nine of his 14 points and grab four of his seven rebounds in the four-minute overtime to collect the victory.
"I feel like we didn't show a lot of heart the first three quarters and then played well late and picked up a lucky win," said Blue Wave coach Mark Griseck, whose team dropped the Hawks - without three players for the game - to 17-4. "But we did have some guys make plays when it mattered most."
The Bobcats' 54-51 victory against West Orange (9-9) came after Buchholz (11-9) let a 14-3 lead slip away and had to rely on a layup by Chris Bright (17 points) with 4 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
From there, Bright, Dan Frank and Kyle Nolan combined to outscore the Warriors, 7-4, in the extra session.
"We got to 24 points and had a hard time scoring after they went to zone," Bobcats' coach Bob Horodyski said. "But in the second half, Chris Bright and Dan Frank (12 points) were able to slip into the gaps and score a few times.
"Give the kids credit, this is the second consecutive night they have given up a big lead and hung on to win (the first was against Miami Booker T. Washington)."
The game sandwiched between P.K. Yonge and Buchholz's wins figured to match the area's two leading scorers in Hawthorne junior Cornelius Ingram and Columbia senior Murrell Cray. But Ingram had an off night, collecting just 11 points, and Cray is serving an indefinite suspension.
But, even with the one-on-one showdown not taking place, each club had others step up to bring the contest to the wire.
The Tigers' Robert Henry (15 points, 11 rebounds and five assists - all team highs) and the Hornets' Michael Baker (15 points, 12 rebounds, two steals) got many of their baskets on second effort and kept the momentum from swinging too far the other way.
In the end, a late layup by Avery Kelsey of Columbia (11-5) was the difference.
"This is a good win considering we only dressed eight and didn't start four of our usual starters (in addition to Cray not playing, three others came off the bench as part of a team punishment)," said Tigers' coach Bill Barnett, whose team dropped the Hornets to 16-6.
"Was I surprised we could beat them (without Cray)? I felt we could be competitive. We've played some of our best basketball this year without Murrell Cray."
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    Page 6C n More scores, Page 2C Henry leads Tigers in win
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