Mabank forces Kemp errors in 73-47 win
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANKIn a key first-round district matchup, the hosting Mabank Lady Panthers
outscored the Kemp Lady Yellowjackets 47-21 in the middle two quarters to fuel a 73-47
victory Friday night.
Mabank improved to 15-9 on the season and 3-0 in District 13-3A competition, while Kemp
fell to 14-10 and 1-2 in loop action with their second straight defeat.
The Lady Jackets were scheduled to host North Forney Tuesday, while Mabank hosted
Crandall in another critical contest.
Monitor Photos/Kerry Yancey
During a very typical sequence in the second quarter, Mabank junior Ashton Norman (20)
reaches in, causing Kemp junior Brianna Powell (4) to fumble; both players dive to the
floor after the ball and both Norman and Powell, with Mabanks Natalie Torres
joining in, battle for possession, forcing officials to whistle a jump ball. Normans
defensive pressure helped fuel a 47-21 scoring edge in the middle two quarters, leading to
a 73-47 Mabank win over visiting Kemp Friday.
Friday, Jan. 21, both teams go on the road in the first-round finale, as Kemp visits
Kaufman and Mabank visits North Forney.
Next Tuesday, Jan. 25, the second round of district play opens with Kemp visiting Ferris
and Mabank visiting Kaufman. Each evening opens with 5 p.m. sub-varsity contests.
Defensive pressure much of it provided by junior three-year starter Ashton Norman
proved to be the key for the Lady Panthers, as they forced the Lady Jackets
into an uncharacteristically high 23 turnovers and limited Kemp to 36 percent shooting for
Afterwards, first-year Mabank head coach Ashleigh Weeaks said Norman had been really
pumped about the matchup with the Lady Jackets, and had hoped to play well,
since Kemp was looking for a third straight playoff berth, while the Lady Panthers had not
seen success in 4A the last two years.
Officially, Norman would up with seven points, six steals, six assists and two rebounds,
but her defensive quickness forced many loose balls, leading to seven other Mabank steals,
and forced a number of tie-ups.
Both teams played evenly in the first quarter, which ended in a 14-14 tie.
The game turned in the second quarter, as the Lady Panthers started forcing turnovers and
got second shots through the efforts of Cheyenne Alldredge, who had four offensive
Actually, neither team got many second shots, as Kemp junior Kandace Rose (eight rebounds,
but 0-of-6 from the field) and senior Shannon Shipp (six points, two rebounds, two blocks)
did their part to control the boards, keeping Mabanks 6-2 junior Olivia Pannell
(five points, three rebounds) blocked out.
Mabank four-year senior starter Sara Springer started bombing away in the second quarter,
hitting three straight 3-point baskets, while sophomore point guard Kourtney Holyfield
added a fourth trey.
All-Region senior returnee Michelle Ritterbach hit two treys to help keep the Lady
Jackets close, but the Lady Panthers forged a 24-13 scoring edge and an 11-point
halftime lead, 38-27.
That pattern continued in the third quarter, as Norman gave Lady Jacket point guard
Brianna Powell a lot of difficulty when Powell was bringing the ball upcourt (Powell
officially had seven turnovers), which greatly disrupted the Kemp offensive sets.
Powell and Ritterbach both were limping after diving on the floor for loose balls, with
Powell missing a good chunk of the third quarter and part of the fourth, while Ritterbach
also went to the bench in the fourth quarter.
The result was another 14-8 scoring edge for the Lady Panthers, giving them a commanding
61-35 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Both teams scored 12 points each in the final
Springer led all scorers with 17 points, two rebounds, one assist and two steals, while
Alldredge finished with 12 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Both Holyfield and Makenna Allen finished with 10 points each, as Holyfield added three
rebounds and two assists, while Allen had three rebounds and three steals.
The Lady Panthers also got Normans seven points, six points (and one steal) from
Alex Brady, five from Pannell, four points from Molly Groom and two points from Natalie
Ritterbach led the Lady Jackets with 14 points, three rebounds and four assists,
while Powell finished with 10 points, four rebounds, one steal and five assists.
Shipp and Taylor Day both finished with six points (Day adding three rebounds and two
assists), while Jaque Cooper had four points, Rose finished with three points and both
Maegan McVay and Amber Pass finished with two points each.
MHS pulls away late to beat Kemp, 68-49
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANKThe hosting Mabank Panthers used a huge fourth quarter to ease past the
visiting Kemp Yellowjackets 68-49 Friday night in the District 13-3A basketball opener for
With the win, Mabank improved to 9-11 and 1-0 in district play, while Kemp fell to 0-1 in
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Mabank Panther post David Marler (52) tries to get away from a double-team by Kemp
Yellowjackets Cody Dunagan (mostly hidden) and Jake Goldman, who have trapped him on the
baseline, by banging the ball off Goldman's leg and out of bounds. The officials didn't
buy it, though, and whistled Marler for traveling during the first half of Mabank's 68-49
win over the visiting Yellowjackets Friday.
Tuesday night, the Yellowjackets were scheduled to host North
Forneys Falcons, while Mabank was scheduled to face visiting Crandall.
Friday, Jan. 21, the Panthers will visit North Forney, while the Jackets will visit
Kaufman. Next Tuesday, Jan. 25, the Jackets will visit Ferris, while the Panthers
will visit Kaufman. Each evening opens with 5 p.m. sub-varsity games.
Sadly, Kemp head coach Terrance McCloud was not on hand for Fridays game, following
the death of his mother from heart surgery complications Thursday. She had been seriously
ill since before the Christmas break.
Assistant coach Matt Langer was on the bench for the Jackets, who also continued to
miss senior three-year starter Ryan Emfinger, out for some time with illness.
A fairly large crowd was on hand for what turned out to be a very tight game for three
quarters, with both teams playing tough defense.
Mabank opened a 15-12 lead in the first quarter behind three baskets from 6-7 senior T.C.
Greene, whose bruising position battles with Kemps Blake Watkins led to a double
foul and warnings to both players halfway through the opening period.
In the second quarter, the Panthers edged out to a five-point lead behind eight points
(including a 3-point basket) from junior guard Jordan Allen, but the Jackets
countered with two treys from Jeff Goldman and a third trey from Corey Watkins.
Kemp was able to cut into the Panther lead by one point during the third quarter behind
seven points from Riley Lazard and four points from Jake Goldman, but Greene and Allen
continued to keep the pressure on by combining for nine of the Panthers 12 points in
The Jackets also continued to accumulate fouls at an alarming rate, which came back
to haunt them in the fourth quarter, when Lazard, Jared Lane and Blake Watkins all fouled
Kemps loss of inside muscle opened up the lane for Mabanks David Marler, who
scored nine of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, and Greene, who hit 4-of-4 from the
charity stripe during the period.
The result was a 26-11 scoring edge for the Panthers, who steadily pulled away for the
Allen led all scorers with 20 points, with Greene adding 16 and Marler 14, while Brandon
Hatfield finished with eight points, Ryan Walker had six and both Jacob Ortiz and Chase
Graham added two points each.
Both Jake Goldman and Jeff Goldman scored 14 points each to lead the Jackets, who
also got nine points from Lazard, five points from Blake Watkins, three points from Corey
Watkins and two points each from Lane and Cody Dunagan.
Earlier, the Mabank junior varsity held the Yellowjacket JV to five points in the first,
third and fourth quarters to notch a 58-28 victory, as 12 of the 15 Panthers suited up for
the game scored.
Mabank played Eustace in the freshman game, holding the Bulldog frosh to just 11 points in
the first three quarters en route to a 44-24 victory.