Marengo eliminated in numbers game

Published 8:30 pm Friday, February 25, 2011

MOBILE — Early struggles and some untimely arithmetic issues proved Marengo’s undoing Thursday as it fell to Brantley 60-56 in the first round of the South Regional .

The Lady Panthers trailed 46-35 at the opening of the fourth quarter before surrendering a quick bucket that put Brantley (28-5) up by 13 points. With its season on the cusp of ending, Marengo (16-3) turned to its press defense.

The pressure did its job, frustrating Brantley and allowing Marengo to climb out of its double-digit deficit. With 3:36 to play in the game and momentum clearly boasting orange and black, Tallamachiia Dumas connected on a lay-in amid contact to hand her team an apparent 50-49 lead. The ensuing free throw from the sophomore stretched the advantage to 51-49.

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Over the next two minutes of game time, the contest was halted twice during dead ball situations while officials and scorekeepers discussed the tally. The first occasion saw two points added to the Brantley side of the scoreboard. The second occurrence came with 1:44 left on the clock and saw two points removed from the Marengo side of the scoreboard while the game had apparently been tied at 55 prior to the conversation.

“I don’t remember receiving an official explanation as to what happened,” Marengo coach John Agee said, noting an apparent discrepancy between the official score book and the records produced by Marengo’s scorekeeper and University of South Alabama statisticians. “I’m not sure how that happened. You hate to see young kids play their hearts out and lose by a scorekeeper.”

When play resumed, Eisha Person connected on a pair of free throws to stretch the Brantley lead to four points.

“They didn’t give me any kind of explanation,” Brantley coach Andrew Kilcrease said. “They told me they would handle it in the official book. I hate it had to be that way in this kind of game.”

After having seemingly overcome the double digit disadvantage twice, Marengo was unable to bounce back from the final dead ball discussion.

“When you have a minute and 30-something seconds to go in a regional ball game and you go from being up by two to down by two, that’s tough,” Agee said.

Person led all scorers with 22 points while Amahni Upshaw added 11 and Peyton Hill contributed 10 for Brantley.

Cassandra Thomas led the way for Marengo with 18 points. Dumas finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds while Ciera Hudson contributed 14 for the Lady Panthers.