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Ferris Yellow Jackets basketball falters under pressure

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The Ellis County Press

FERRIS - The Yellow Jackets faced Kaufman for the second time this season last Tuesday.

After having handed Ferris their first district lost at the first meeting, Kaufman was hoping to snatch the district championship title away as well.

In front of a large home-town crowd the Yellow Jackets wasted little time with Tevin Richards scoring two at 7:16 left in the first.

Although Ferris was out-shooting Kaufman basket for basket, Kaufman was able to keep up with Ferris through free throws.

Consistent two-point shooting from Paul Alexander, Casey Leamon, Emmanuel Grady, and Jeremy Masterson would help Ferris to a 21-14 lead going into the second period of play.

After a two pointer from Ferris at the start of the second, Kaufman answered back with a three-pointer for a score of 21-17.

As Ferris continued to increase their lead, Kaufman became increasingly physical on the court.

When the two teams met earlier in the season, Kaufman showed the same MO when they got behind on the scoreboard.

That level of physicality threw Ferris off their game then, but not this time.

Although Kaufman continued to make free throws, Ferris made the big shots and went into half-time with a 31-26 lead.

For the second game in a row, Ferris again showed a dominating third period of play.

Good passing and shooting through the entire period earned the Yellow Jackets 17 points to Kaufman’s 10 and a lead of 48-36 with one period left.

With the game well in-hand the Yellow Jackets were looking at a district championship title if they could continue to play smart and play ahead of Kaufman through the fourth period.

With the pressure on them, the Yellow Jackets began to waiver allowing Kaufman a 13-8 point run to allow Kaufman to close the gap at 56-49 with a little more than five minutes left in the game.

As Ferris scrambled to regroup, Kaufman continued to chisel away at the score.

At the four minute point, Kaufman had closed in on Ferris 56-51. Paul Alexander would go to the free throw line at 3:56, but would only make one to give Ferris a six point lead, 57-51.

Kaufman answered with a two pointer and one successful free throw from Casey Leamon with 2:55 left put Ferris with a 58-53 lead.

Three Kaufman scores later, the Yellow Jackets found themselves behind by two, 60-58 with inside of a minute left in the game.

With plenty of time left for a comeback, Ferris visibly gave up.

Their bodies were on the court, but their minds and hearts were already in the locker room.

Kaufman would add three more points in the final seconds of play to take the win, and the district championship title, with a final score of 63-58.

Emmanuel Grady and Paul Alexander led the scoring for Ferris with 17 and 16 points, respectively.

Tevin Richard delivered nine points, and Casey Leamon and Tanner Bodine both scored five. Never one to make excuses, Coach Buck, in a post-game interview, offered his thoughts on the performance. "[There are] no excuses. We gave the game away."

Understandably wanting to put the game behind his Yellow Jackets, Coach Buck stated, "You forget this in a heartbeat. This was just for first and second. We are in now. All we have to do is be ready to play Tuesday. We’ll be alright."

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