AMBER — Stanton James gave home fans plenty to cheer about, with one of the performances of the tournament in Amber-Pocasset’s 59-36 win over Ninnekah in the Grady County Tournament boys’ consolation semifinal.
The guard put up a game-high 22 points to lead his team into the consolation final on Saturday, where they’ll face Verden.
James had an active first half, with a few jumpers, a three and many trips to the free throw line. His 12 first half points went a big way toward the Panthers’ halftime lead. But Ninnekah had its own hot hand in Blake Daggs.
One of his early jumpers tied up the game and set a theme for the half. Daggs was a constant threat, with the high post flash doing him wonders. The Panthers never seemed able to pick it up, and Daggs was there to stop any Am-Po momentum swing. Defense was also hard to come by for the Owls as well, however, keeping the hosts in an advantageous position.
The Panthers never looked back after they look the lead midway through the second. Murphy Douglas’ sweetly finished teardrop jumper tied the game at 17 apiece, and James struck with a three to put Am-Po up by the same deficit they took into the break.
James’ hot streak continued in the third. His second consecutive three from the left wing gave him a quick seven points and sparked a 10-4 Panther run to put them up by nine. Things got worse when Daggs picked up his fourth foul late in the third and no one else for the Owls was making a shot. He would later foul out with a team-high 10 points.
That trend continued into the fourth, as Am-Po slowly built up their 20-point lead. Kaden Kennedy finished it out, scoring 11 of his 15 points in the final frame to send the Panthers through to the consolation final on Saturday.