HED:Spence scores 40 points to lead Corinth
By Todd Vinyard
CORINTH Corinth's L.P. Spence is back.
Spence, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior, missed the first 16 games of the season working on his grades while trying to qualify academically after verbally committing to Ole Miss in football. Saturday night in only his eighth game back Spence scored a career- high 40 points in Corinth's 72-62 win over Alcorn Central.
Alcorn Central's girls defeated Corinth 60-40.
For Spence the only problem was a pair of shorts that wouldn't stay up. Those got taped up and the scoring continued. He shot 16-of-22 from the floor, 8-of-11 from the line and had 10 rebounds.
"I just felt like no one could guard me, and I wanted the ball," Spence said.
Alcorn Central was ahead 37-30 at halftime, but a 14-2 Corinth third-quarter run put the Warriors in control.
"L.P. just destroyed us," Alcorn Central coach Larry Jobe said.
Spence supplied the offense while Corinth's Jimmy Patterson held Alcorn Central guard Nick Coln to 12 points. Coln, the all-time leading scorer in Alcorn County, only got 11 shots and only one point in the second half.
"That is the best job defensively we have done on Nick in five years," Corinth coach David Robbins said.
After starting out with an 0-7 record Corinth is now 12-12. That is thanks in large part to Spence, who is averaging 20 points a game and 12 rebounds.
Throughout the contest Alcorn Central fans chanted "ACT, ACT" when Spence would step to the free throw line. Spence said he feels good about his chances to qualify. He set a state single-game rushing record this past year in football.
"I knew I just had to make the free throws," Spence said. "Then they would stop."
They did, and Spence didn't.
(G) Alcorn Central 60, Corinth 40: Alcorn Central girls coach Louis Riddick worried for nothing.
Riddick thought his team might not be ready for Corinth after beating them 61-35 earlier this year.
"Corinth has improved a great deal since then and I was glad our team didn't take anything for granted," Riddick said. "We have only one senior, but the girls showed some maturity tonight."
Lesley Lewis led Alcorn Central with 21 points while Corinth was paced by Kristy Wilbanks' 17.
(G)Alcorn Central 60, Corinth 40
Alcorn Central 15 16 14 15 60
Corinth 9 14 6 11 40
Alcorn Central: Lesley Lewis 21, Leesa Hopkins 13.
Corinth: Kristy Wilbanks 17, Sharetta Norman 10.
Records: Alcorn Central 14-9, Corinth 4-20.
Notes: Lesley Lewis of Alcorn Central had five 3-pointers in the first half.
(B)Corinth 72, Alcorn Central 62
Alcorn Central 18 19 9 16 62
Corinth 11 19 20 22 72
Alcorn Central: Eli Kennemur 16, Nick Coln 12, Alex Wamsley 11.
Corinth: L.P. Spence 40, Jimmy Patterson 11.
Records: Alcorn Central 15-8, Corinth 12-12.
Notes: Spence's previous career high was 32 points. Corinth hit 21 of 25 free throws.