Latta uses huge second half to bury Atoka Wampus Cats

Jan. 7—KINGSTON — It was a tale of two halves for the Latta boys Thursday at the 2023 Kingston New Year's Classic.

After a close first half, Latta kicked it into another gear and flew past Atoka 60-31 in a first-round contest.

Latta was scheduled to meet Class 2A No. 1 Dale in a Friday night semifinal contest. Today's championship contest is scheduled for 8 p.m. with the third-place game set to begin at 5 p.m.

The Panthers jumped out to a 17-9 lead after the first quarter but the Wampus Cats closed the gap to 26-21 at halftime.

Latta took off from there, outscoring the Wampus Cats 14-4 in the third period and finished the game on a 20-6 surge.

Lane Priest led the LHS offense with 22 points, including four 3-point baskets. Sam Brown also hit double figures with 10 points, including a pair of triples.

Cooper Coulson just missed double digits with nine points, while Carter Dotson sank two 3-point shots and scored eight.

Eli Eaves paced the Wampus Cats with 15, including one 3-point field goal.

Latta was a cool 4-of-11 from the free-throw line while Atoka finished 6-of-11.