A big night for Rosa Fort Lion big men Labarron Collins and Bernardick McKinney brought home a big 81-69 win over perennial rivals Senatobia High School in district play last Tuesday.
McKinney was on fire, scoring 27 points and pulling down an incredible 23 rebounds, while Collins added 19 points and 13 rebounds of his own.
The Lions jumped out to an early lead, going up 23-11 in the first period and adding another 12 to finish out the first half. Senatobia, trailing 53-37, came back in the final period to put up 32 points to Rosa Fort’s 28, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the visitors.
“They had played us close here, so I was a little on edge,” Head Coach Fred Steele said this week.
“This was a big game for us. They had broken a win streak last season, so our plan was for them not to break this one.”
Rosa Fort remains undefeated, with 21 wins on the season, including some key district match-ups.
Down the stretch, the Lions face all district opponents, except for a shoot out at New Albany this weekend. A make up game with Byhalia next Thursday is imporant for Steele’s team, which would like to carry their unbeaten record into the play-offs and earn a first round bye.
“Byhalia is putting up some good numbers,” Steele said.
The Indians, now 10-9 overall and 4-3 in league play, feature senior guard Kenyatta Jones, who is averaging 29.8 points per game.
But first, the Lions must get by Lafayette at home tonight (Friday). The Commodores are 0-5 in the league.
Also coming up on the schedule are two home games, Jan. 28 versus Lewisburg and Feb. 1 vs. Center Hill, which currently stands at #2 with a 5-2 league record. The Lions’ final game of the regular season is Feb. 4 at Byhalia.
At home last Friday, Rosa Fort squeaked by North Panola 54-50. McKinney led scoring in that game with 18 points and played tough on on the boards, getting 18 rebounds. McKinney also had four blocked shots and 2 steals.
Also in double figure was Billy Jackson with 11 points.
Steele said point guard Jonathan Ankston has been a “big asset” for the team as a whole.
“He’s the glue that is holding us together…our general on the court. He’s scoring, rebounding and making steals and I really feel he’s making the other guys play better.”
Steele said in his usual modest manner that if someone had told him the Lions would be 21-0 at this point in their season, he would really have doubted them.
But he likes his team’s chances for the rest of the regular season and on into post-season play.
“We’re really coming together and playing as team.”
1/14 vs. North Panola
L. Collins – 4 pts., 4 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, 2 steals
J. Ankston – 9 pts., 5 rebs., 2 stls., 2 asst.
R. McKay – 3 pts., 2 stls., 1 asst.
D. Westbrook – 6 pts., 1 reb., 2 stls.
J. Saffold – 1 reb.
B. Jackson – 11 pts., 1 reb., 4 blks., 2 stls., 1 asst.
B. McKinney – 18 pts., 18 rebs., 4 blks., 2 stls., 1 asst.
T. Bingham – 3 pts., 1 reb., 1 asst.
1/18 vs. Senatobia
L. Collins – 19 pts., 13 rebounds, 2 blocked shots, 2 steals, 5 assists
J. Ankston – 10 pts., 2 rebs., 6 asst.
R. McKay – 4 pts., 1 reb., 1 blk., 2 asst.
D. Westbrook – 8 pts., 2 reb., 1 asst.
B. Jackson – 10 pts., 3 reb., 1 blk., 1 asst.
B. McKinney – 27 pts., 23 rebs., 2 blks., 1 stl., 1 asst.