Day, Turner lead Jefferson County past Waves

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 31, 2005

FAYETTE &8212; Jefferson County coach Marcus Walton made sure his team was ready to play rival Port Gibson.

The Tigers&8217; practice Monday included 500 shots for each player, and Walton even played a little one-on-one with his pupils in preparation for Tuesday&8217;s game.

It worked.

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Jefferson County fed off a boisterous home crowd to earn a 52-44 victory over Port Gibson.

&8220;One thing about playing your arch rival, the first three to four minutes are going to be pure emotion,&8221; Walton said. &8220;The first team that settles down is the one that will probably win the game.&8221;

The Tigers missed their first field goal but quickly settled down to earn the victory.

Kadon Day and Percy Turner, both sophomores, led the Tigers. The duo combined for 34 points.

&8220;Percy and I had a long talk before the game, and I put a lot on him to be a leader,&8221; Walton said.

Turner, however, said he looked to the seniors for an emotional boost.

&8220;I look to the seniors for leadership because they have been here before, but coach talked to me before the game about being a leader,&8221; Turner said.

Day sparked the emotional play of his team with an early block, and he added a few more rejections later in the game.

&8220;The intensity and the crowd really got me going,&8221; Day said. &8220;I just played my game tonight.&8221; While Day took care of the defensive side, Turner took care of the offense.

&8220;Coach talked to me and gave me a lot of confidence,&8221; said Turner, who finished with 20 points. &8220;Last week I was in a shooting slump, but I felt like I neede to take charge and I took charge.&8221;

A fast-paced game from the opening tip, Turner spark and early Tigers&8217; run with a 3-pointer as Jefferson County built an early 15-10 lead.

Day took over in the second half, coming out of the locker room and blocking a Port Gibson shot and then running the floor for a dunk.

Day finished with 14 points, and seniors Kenneth Lowe and Marquese Carradine had 10 and nine points, respectively.

&8220;The rim was huge tonight, and my confidence was going because coach brought us out to shoot those 500 apiece,&8221; Carradine said.

Walton, however, found room for improvement.&8220;The kids fought hard from start to finish. They attacked and played with effort and discipline, but we did not do good on the boards,&8221; he said.

Jefferson County returns to action Friday against Yazoo County, the No. 3-ranked team in Class 3A.