Meridian Star

Sports

February 28, 2014

Hanks, Quitman pull away from Lawrence Co.

McCOMB — It was a tale of two halves for Quitman High School’s Darius Hanks.

After getting into foul trouble early, Hanks exploded in the third quarter, scoring 13 of his 20 points to help lead the Panthers in a 66-48 win over Lawrence County High School in the first round of the Class 4A South State playoffs Thursday at McComb High School.

Hicks got two fouls in the first quarter, then quickly added a third one when head coach Chris Coleman brought him back in during the second quarter.

“He may have played five minutes in the first half,” Coleman said. “LaThomas Edwards came off the bench and chipped in six, gave us a few blocks and ran the court. He played very good for us off the bench and held it down.”

Hicks finally got his chance to shine in the third, and he was aided by Anterio McKines, who tallied nine of his 12 points in the third.

After leading the Tigers 33-26 at the break, Quitman pulled away in the second half to secure the win. In the fourth quarter, the Panthers allowed just three Lawrence County points.

“In the fourth quarter, we changed defenses from man to a 2-3 zone,” Coleman explained. “That threw them off, because people aren’t used to seeing us play a 2-3 zone. They went to a four-guard lineup, which gave us matchup problems, so that’s why we switched.”

Jaderius Avery finished with 14 points for the Panthers, who have now won 10 in a row and 14 of the last 15, Coleman said. But the win didn’t come easy, he added, saying early foul trouble forced his team to go to the bench for much of the first half.

“Defensively, the effort my bench gave was tremendous,” Coleman said. “We didn’t score a lot, but we didn’t give up a lot. Overall, we didn’t play Quitman Panthers basketbal, but we found a way to win, and that’s a credit to my kids. They kept fighting, scratching and cheering each other on. They stayed positive and kept their heads up.”

Quitman (24-7) will play Raymond High School at 6 p.m. tonight.

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