As of Saturday, January 7, 2012
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Clayton News Daily
Photo by Derrick Mahone
Forest Park guard Lemuel Fuller (1) blocks out Mundy’s Mill’s Andre Sessions in the first quarter of the Panthers’ 63-61 Region 4-AAAA win on Friday. Fuller finished with a team-high 14 points.
Forest Park coach Antonio Wade may have gotten just what his team needed Friday to turn its season into something special.
The Panthers used tenacious defense and three seniors who scored in double figures to turn a 10-point halftime deficit into a thrilling 63-61 victory over Mundy’s Mill.
The victory raised Forest Park’s record to 6-5 overall and 4-4 in Region 4-AAAA. But more than that, Wade believes this win also infused some much-needed swagger back into his team’s psyche.
“I think a win like this definitely helps to give us back some of our confidence,” Wade said. “We had it going into the Christmas break, and lost it after a couple of tough games, but I think it picked up a bit because our offense picked up a bit.”
The Panthers were led by senior guards Lemuel Fuller and Nicholas Crawford, who both scored a team-high 14 points, while senior forward Jordan Patton chipped in 12.
Forest Park alternated between a man and 2-2-1 full-court press most of the game, and pressured the Tigers into 20 turnovers, helping them erase a 31-21 Mundy’s Mill’s halftime lead. Forest Park opened the third quarter with a 14-2 run that gave them momentum heading into a back-and-forth fourth quarter. Crawford hit two big buckets and knocked down two free throws on three straight possessions down the stretch to seal the win for Forest Park.
Mundy’s Mill junior forward Darius Sizemore had a game-high 18 points.