Kemp falls to Mount Vernon in semifinals Yellowjackets’ playoff run ends against Tigers

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : March 7, 2018

By Blaine Clamon
Special to The Monitor
ROCKWALL–The Kemp Yellowjackets’ boys’ basketball team advanced to the Regional semifinals for the first time ever with a victory over the Commerce Tigers last Tuesday at Rockwall High School. On Friday, they took on the Mount Vernon Tigers at nearby Rockwall-Heath High School. Kemp entered this matchup two wins away from advancing to the State tournament in San Antonio.
With Kemp up early 6-3, Mount Vernon exploded for four three-pointers, three of which came from Tyler Cooper, for a 12-3 stretch and the 15-9 advantage with 2:23 to go in the first quarter. Jaise Bowie’s field goal drew the Yellowjackets within four, but Cooper’s own field goal put the Tigers up 17-11 after the opening quarter.
Kemp pulled within three at 19-16 to start the second quarter with a 5-2 run. An 8-2 Mount Vernon run gave the Tigers their largest lead at 27-18 with less than two minutes until halftime. Kemp closed the first half with an and-1 plus the free throw from Boomer Irvin and a pair of free throws from Kane Johnson for another 5-2 stretch and the Yellowjackets trailed 29-23 at the break.
Kemp started the second half with a fast-break layup from Johnson and a three-pointer from Irvin and they trailed 29-28. With Mount Vernon leading 40-34, the Yellowjackets closed the third quarter with a three-pointer from Austin Williams and a layup from Johnson to pull within one point again at 40-39.
Kemp cut Mount Vernon’s lead to 44-43 early in the fourth quarter, but that would be the closest that the Yellowjackets would reach as the Tigers never trailed again and pulled away down the stretch for the 58-52 win, ending Kemp’s historic playoff run.
Seniors Kane Johnson and Austin Williams racked up 21 and five points respectively in their final game as Yellowjackets. Boomer Irvin had 11, Jaise Bowie had nine, Cameron Clamon had four and Darel Booker had two. Kemp finishes the year at 16-7 and as Regional semifinalists.