SP Lady Tiger basketball
By Brad Greer
Anytime a team turns the ball over the same number points scored, it is safe to say they were in for a long night.
That was the case for Southaven girls as the Chargers turned the ball over 33 times in a 60-33 drubbing at the hands of South Panola Tuesday night.
The Lady Tigers raced out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead then cruised the rest of the way to remain undefeated at 7-0 on the season heading into tonight’s district opener at Tupelo.
Senior guard Sabrina Townsend poured in 24 points for South Panola, who debuted this week at No. 4 in the Clarion-Ledger 5A poll. Vetorra Cole added 11 points as nine players got in the scoring column for the Tigers.
Townsend started the scoring outburst in the first quarter by taking a steal and assist from Skyler Barnes for a easy layup for a 8-0 lead.Barnes scored only four points on the night but recorded four steals in the first period alone. South Panola used a full court press to force Southaven into 14 first- quarter turnovers.
Stalisha Draper banked home a three-point shot from the top of the key with 2:30 left in the quarter for a 21-0 lead. Southaven finally got on the board at the 1:46 mark of the quarter on the front end of a free throw by Sherika Luckett. But by that time it was too late for the Lady Chargers on the night.
The second quarter was much of the same as the Tiger lead grew to as much as 20 points in the half. Townsend, who recorded 17 of her total points in the first half, drilled a trey from the right corner to give the home team a 27-5 lead. Luckett and Angela Carden kept Southaven hanging around by combining for 10 of 12 points in the quarter.
Townsend’s pair of free throws with 3:21 left before halftime gave South Panola its largest lead of the half at 31-11. Despite the easy victory, head coach Ralph Stallings was not particularly pleased with his teams overall performance after the first period.
“I told the kids I thought we play down to their (Southaven’s) level instead of keeping our level of execution. The first few minutes we dominated the game with the press and it got real easy. We started taking things for granted and it does not matter who your opponent is, you’ve got to play your game all the way through,” said Stallings.
South Panola shot 20-of-49 for 40 percent in field goal percentage for the game while the Chargers took only 32 shots on the night connecting on 12 of them for 37 percent. The Lady Tigers were 15-for-20 from the free throw line and turned the ball over 22 times.
Scoring for the Tigers were Draper with seven followed by Montieth Brewer with six points. Lephaedra Hunt added three points while Jasman Houston and Essie Thomas scored two each. Chasity Kearney hit one of two free throws on the night.
“I’ve got to play four quarters like we played in the first quarter Friday night against a very good Tupelo team,” added Stallings.