By Jeffery Armstrong
Markel Humphrey scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, helping the Stockbridge Tigers basketball team defeat the Starr's Mill Panthers 68-56 during the Tigers' home opener Friday night.
The Tigers rebounded from a poor first half performance, probably due to tired legs from their game on Tuesday night. It didn't help that they missed nine free throws in the half as well. Starr's Mill (0-1) was playing its first game of the season and they were quick to press and trap the Tigers all night and score points on backdoor lay ups and short jumpers. The Panthers outscored Stockbridge 13-9 in the second quarter to take a 27-25 lead at halftime.
Stockbridge (2-0) took control of the game minutes into the third quarter. With the Tigers clinging to a 40-37 lead, Stockbridge guard Taylor Harps sank a 3-pointer to give the team its biggest lead of the night, 43-37, with a couple of minutes left in the quarter. Starr's Mill then went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to one point, but Humphrey sank a trey at the end of the third to put Stockbridge up 46-42 heading into the final stanza.
Stockbridge forced several Starr's Mill turnovers and went on a 10-0 spurt to start the fourth quarter. After Stockbridge's Kenny Lockett had a steal and layup to make the score 50-42, Humphrey took over the game. He had a dunk on the fast break, sank a free throw and hit a trey to put Stockbridge up 56-42 with 4:50 left in the game. Starr's Mill couldn't get closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
Harps finished with 10 points and Dante Stodghill chipped in seven for the Tigers. Mark Harris led Starr's Mill with 13 points followed by Spencer Shelton with 10.
Stockbridge 35, Starr's Mill 27 (girls): Christine Tolbert scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Stockbridge Lady Tigers to a 35-27 victory over the Starr's Mill Lady Panthers Friday night. This contest was no barn burner, as both teams had trouble scoring and Stockbridge was whistled for a plethora of fouls.
The Lady Panthers missed their first seven shots and didn't score their first basket until 44 seconds remained in the first quarter. Stockbridge (1-1) only mustered three field goals and led 7-2 after one period. Starr's Mill (0-1) stayed in the contest by hitting 12 free throws to trail 18-16 at the half.
Tolbert's rebound and pass to Liz Easton (10 points) for a 3-pointer helped give Stockbridge a comfortable 28-16 lead early in the third quarted and basically sealed the win. Starr's Mill went scoreless in the quarter, missing all 14 shots it took. The Lady Panthers did cut the lead to nine, 31-22, late in the fourth but Stockbridge sank its free throws down the stretch to pull out the victory. Starr's Mill missed 37 shots in this game.