By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
SHANNON – The Shannon Red Raiders and the Corinth Warriors had been cruising through the 2011-12 season, each with just one loss.
That was just practice for some of the minutes these two 12-1 teams logged against each other Tuesday.
In a matchup of Division 1-4A leaders, the Red Raiders answered the bell in the second half to claim a 74-66 victory.
“That’s the toughest team we’ve played all year,” Shannon coach Cedric Brim said. “That third quarter, our defensive intensity got up, then we got a steal, then we got another steal.
“We got going with a couple of turnovers.”
In a competitive first half, Shannon (13-1, 3-0) got going in the first quarter, moving to as much as a 17-6 lead on free throws by LaKee Westbrook.
The Warriors (12-2, 4-1) and Deion Weeks showed their toughness the rest of the half. From that 11-point lead, Weeks scored 16 points the remainder of the half as Corinth held a 35-32 lead at the intermission.
“I told the team at the half we were playing good defense, but that Corinth was just making shots,” Brim said. “I told them to continue to play like they normally do, and not to get rattled.”
The Raiders responded with a solid enough third quarter, edging ahead 50-47. Then in a key stretch in the fourth quarter, Shannon demonstrated it could maintain its intensity.
In a less than two minute stretch, a 9-0 run with baskets by Jermaine Gilliam, Javon Green, and Lamarcus Doss took Shannon from a two-point lead to a 61-50 advantage with 5 minutes, 19 seconds to play. Corinth never recovered.
“We had too many shaky passes tonight, and were very cold from the perimeter,” Corinth coach Keith Greene said. “We gave them too many baskets in transition.”
Green led Shannon with 24 points, while Weeks tallied 31.
(G) Shannon 35, Corinth 26: The Lady Warriors pulled within 29-23 in the fourth period, but a 19-point effort by Ashiana Ivy lifted the Lady Raiders.