Spring Hill used a 12-2 run in the first half to build a double-digit lead and strong shooting from Jay Rockwell in the second half made it stand up en route to a 73-65 win over Pittsburg on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Spring Hill Christmas Classic at Panther Gym.
The win moved Spring Hill into today’s semifinals against Tatum, a 73-65 winner over La Poynor. That contest is slated for 10 a.m. The other semifinal will be between Mineola, which defeated Marshall, 69-58, and Atlanta, which beat Carthage, 58-50, at 11:30.
The championship is scheduled to tip off at 4 p.m.
In the first of four quarterfinals played Friday, Rockwell led host Spring Hill with 21 points. The Panthers also received double figures from Tyler Caron (15), Terrance Head (13) and Kyren Miller (12).
Pittsburg was paced in the loss by Jaylon Jimmerson, who led all players with 22 points. Dominique Allen (13) and Kaderrian Bell (10) also finished in double figures.
Spring Hill was originally slated to play Friday evening, but agreed to move its game to accommodate La Poynor, which could not make its afternoon tip because of a funeral for a recently deceased student.
The Panthers were hours removed from taking down Daingerfield, 76-37, in its first-round matchup.
The teams matched each other in the first quarter with Pittsburg seemingly about to end the quarter with a two-possession lead following a 3-pointer from Allen.
Spring Hill’s Taylor Dishman would not give it up, however, rebounding a miss and making the put-back with one second left in the quarter to cut Pittsburg’s lead to 18-16 after the first.
Dishman and Head went to work in the second quarter, combining for eight points in a 10-0 Spring Hill run to lead 26-18 with 4:04 left in the half.
A basket by Jimmerson ended Pittsburg’s drought. It was promptly answered by a 3-pointer from Miller and a long-range trey by Caron to help the Panthers go into the locker room with a 38-28 lead. Caron finished the half with eight points, six rebounds, two blocks, two steals and four assists.
Pittsburg came out in the third period intent on limiting Caron, surrounding the Spring Hill senior post. That extra attention left his teammates open and Miller took advantage. After Pittsburg pulled to within 38-32 on two buckets from Jimmerson, Miller dropped consecutive 3-pointers followed by another trey by Rockwell. A basket by Rockwell capped Spring Hill’s 11-2 run to now lead 49-34.
The Pirates trailed by 16 points, 67-51, late in the fourth quarter before amounting one final comeback attempt. Pittsburg pulled to within 69-63 on a basket by Jimmerson with 1:17 to play.
Pittsburg was forced to foul and hope Spring Hill missed its free throws. The Panthers went 4 for 6 in the final seconds to seal their victory.
Article provide by Chris Parry and the Longview News-Journal at ETVarsity.com.