Photo: Da’Len Anderson of Lake Cormorant drives past Justin Hammett of Hernando during Monday morning’s game at Hernando. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
In a rare high school basketball doubleheader held Monday, Hernando and Lake Cormorant met on the basketball court.
What was rare about this boy-girl twinbill was that the boys’ teams played before students in a morning meeting Monday, followed by a girls’ tilt that evening, both at Theron Long Memorial Gymnasium in Hernando.
Lake Cormorant left Hernando with a one-point victory in the morning contest, while the evening game was ruled a no contest when a Lake Cormorant player was hurt and removed to a hospital with 1.2 seconds remaining in the half.
LAKE CORMORANT BOYS 62, HERNANDO 61: New Lake Cormorant boys’ basketball coach Kendrick Davis was constantly preaching defense to his Gators Monday morning, even with a double-digit lead. In the end, it was a defensive play resulting in a basket that gave Lake Cormorant the one-point victory.
Jayden Smith stole an inbound pass with just four seconds remaining and his layup turned what looked like a Hernando victory into a Lake Cormorant win.
The Gators took a 32-26 lead at halftime and quickly built the margin to 42-29 with 4:52 left in the third quarter, when Hernando took a timeout. The Tigers were able to get within 49-39 at the end of the quarter.
That 10-point lead carried into the fourth quarter but the Tigers whittled away at the lead to make 60-57 with 1:43 remaining. Hernando would take a 61-60 lead on a layup with 33 seconds left and appeared to have the contest claimed with the Tigers possessing the ball with just seconds remaining. But that would be when Smith stepped in, stole the inbounds pass from under the basket, and quickly laid the shot in for the winning points.
Smith finished with 16 points, including the two most important in the fourth quarter, his only points of the final frame. Demario Jones paced the Gators with 17 and they were the only players to score in double figures. Michael Banks and Vernon Green each finished with nine.
For Hernando, the Tigers were led in scoring by Derrell Tate with 22 points while Jakeel Truss scored 16 points and Justin Hammett added 13.
LAKE CORMORANT GIRLS AT HERNANDO: The Hernando girls were about to carry a 31-14 lead into the locker room when Lake Cormorant’s Quinnardia Maxwell was apparently struck in the side of the head by the knee of an opponent as both players leaped for the basketball. The collision caused Maxwell to fall hard to the floor and she laid there still for several minutes as, first the athletic trainer, and then paramedics who arrived, attended to her. Maxwell was eventually moved to a stretcher as medical personnel kept her still and then taken to a waiting ambulance for transport to a hospital. There was no further word about her injuries but, as a result, both teams decided to end the game at that point. The contest was ruled a “no-decision” without a win or loss.
Later Monday night, Lake Cormorant coach Justin Neely posted this statement about Maxwell and her health:
“Hey I want everyone to please pray for my player Quinnardia Maxwell and the family, as well as her teammates. She suffered a concussion while playing tonight and had to go to the hospital. The last update I got on her was she was up and talking with good vitals. They are running more tests on her. Thank you all.”
During the course of play, the Lady Tigers were paced by Jaliah Kelly, who was the only player in double figures with 12 points, including two three-point baskets. Janiya Nevilles contributed eight points for Hernando.
Arianna Manning was the leading scorer for the Lady Gators with five points and Ka’Meria Kuykendall tossed in four more.
MUSTANGS TAKE ON SALTILLO: Center Hill basketball teams were in action Monday night and both came away with victories.
The Lady Mustangs improved to 10-1 for the season with a convincing 65-29 victory over Saltillo. Jairya Rankins led Center Hill in scoring with 20 points and Anniya Bailey added 15 more. Center Hill held a 46-7 lead over the Lady Tigers at intermission.
Meanwhile the Center Hill boys basketball team defeated Saltillo 68-51.
SPORTS ETC.: In NBA G League action Monday night, the Memphis Hustle lost at Birmingham 102-99. BOX SCORE