Carthage, Center Moving on to Regional Semifinals
TYLER -- Jamar'h Johnson drove to the basket for Center with seconds remains and laid the ball in at the buzzer.
He jumped joyfully, celebrating his bucket. But the referee waved it off, no good. Fortunately, whether Johnson's basket fell through had little to do in the big picture of Center's 59-41 victory against Spring Hill in the 4A Region 2 regional quarterfinal Tuesday.
The Roughriders (32-2) were in control from the first quarter, when they nailed two straight 3-pointers within the first two minutes to force the Panthers to call timeout. The Roughriders had already built a double-digit lead by the end of the quarter, 15-5. They would never relinquish it.
"We finally shot the ball well," coach Hiram Harrison said. "We hadn't shot well in the last five games. Second half, defensively I wasn't pleased. First half, we played well."
Spring Hill (16-11) tried to close the gap before halftime, going on a 9-2 run near the end of the second quarter. Center ultimately put a stop to that, scoring the last three points, including a powerful dunk from Jeremiah Hightower in transition as time expired.
That allowed the Roughriders to enter halftime with a 32-17 lead and the momentum.
In all, Center hit eight 3-pointers. The Roughriders also forced 17 turnovers. Jaterious Evans led Center with 17 points, while Reggie Daniels II managed a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Tyler Caron led Spring Hill with 13 points and six rebounds.
Center will move on to face Carter in the regional semifinal at 6 p.m. Friday in Commerce.
"We're one of the better teams in the state in 4A," Harrison said. "We've been at the top consistently from day one. We're gonna stay there. We've just got to continue to work hard on defense, push each other in practice, stay healthy and rest."
Carthage breezes past Canton to Regional Semis
TYLER -- Dewaylon Ingram was not to be denied.
Ingram hit 3-pointer after 3-pointer in the second quarter as Carthage distanced itself from Canton in the 4A Region 2 regional quarterfinal Tuesday. That quarter would be the turning point, as Carthage never looked back on its way to a 57-42 victory.
Ingram finished with 20 points -- 11 of which came in the second quarter -- as the Bulldogs advanced to the regional semifinals for the first time since 1992-93.
"I just told them we've got some giants in front of us," coach Charlie Tucker said. "Whether it's Lincoln, Argyle, Carter or Center. I told them we've got to load our slingshot up with some pebbles and take them down one pebble at a time. It's great for these kids. That's the bottom line. They're winners. Everyone one of them play football, so they've got that winner's mentality."
Canton (15-21) tried several times to distance itself. The Eagles hit several 3-pointers in the second half, but it seemed Carthage always had an answer.
If Ingram was the hero of the first half, it was Dee Bowens in the second. Bowens finished with 16 points and five assists, as well as two steals. His speed allowed for plenty of transition baskets. Mekhi Colbert finished the nine points.
McGwire Martin was the leading scorer for Canton, finishing with 20 points, including three 3-pointers.
Carthage moves on to face Lincoln at 8 p.m. Friday in Commerce. Tucker has acknowledged that it will be tough, but he believes in his group.
"They're the toughest kids I've ever been around," he said. "From day one, from minute one. That's just the way we play. We call it the Bulldog way."