By Adam Gore/Special to the Journal
SHANNON – Hanging high above the floor of Shannon’s gymnasium is a banner honoring the 1994-95 boys North State championship team, but if the Red Raiders’ performance Tuesday night against the Yazoo County Panthers is any indication they could be raising a new banner to the rafters in the near future.
The Red Raiders (27-6) smothering defense and mid-court press forced Yazoo County (9-22) into six first-quarter turnovers to set the tone early as they cruised to a 68-53 victory.
“We got off to a good start defensively,” said Shannon head coach Cedric Brim. “It allowed us to have the confidence to be aggressive and attack the basket which allowed our shooters to get open and knock down shots.”
Shannon bullied their way to a 24-8 lead in the first quarter before the Panthers were able to get hot from behind the arch to climb back in the contest, but the Red Raiders defense kept the visitors offensive attack throttled as they maintained no less than a 10-point advantage throughout the rest of the night.
“That’s one thing we have focused on all year,” Brim continued. “We force turnovers to get out and get in transition to get some easy baskets. We played well tonight, but we can get a lot better defensively.”
Lamarcus Doss paced the Red Raiders with a game-high 17 points while Lakee Westbrook added 16, Javon Green 14 and Kendall Cox chipped in 11.
Jadarius Haymer led the Panthers with 17 points in the season-ending loss.
With the win, Shannon earned the right to host the Class 4A boys North State tournament.
The tournament will run Thursday through Saturday.