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SP Lady Tiger basketball

Lady Tigers’ undefeated season halted by Tupelo

By Myra Bean
The South Panola Lady Tigers tried out their undefeated season against new district foe Tupelo Friday night and came up short.

The South Panola basketball teams were assigned new district opponents during realignment this year. Since DeSoto Central came into 5A, the four DeSoto County teams make up Division 1 and South Panola along with Columbus, Starkville and Tupelo make up Division 2.

Tupelo entered the game 6-7 overall while South Panola was undefeated at 7-0.

Lady Tiger head coach Ralph Stallings was still down during Monday morning practice over the first district loss.

“Yes, I am extremely disappointed,” Stallings said. “We did not play up to our level of expectation. We just didn’t respond to a big game.

“I guess that’s where I am most disappointed,” Stallings continued. “We didn’t do what had gotten us to be 7-0.”

Tupelo downed the Lady Tigers 58-47. Lady Tiger leading scorer Sabrina Townsend was held to a season low 10 points.

“This is where others have to step up,” said Lady Tiger assistant coach Charlie Howard.

Tupelo led 29-18 at halftime. Both teams scored 29 points in the second half, but that was not enough for the Lady Tigers to overcome the first half deficit.

South Panola and Tupelo met in the north half tournament last March and played each other to the wire. Stallings was expecting that kind of play from the team Friday night.

“We played like we were intimidated,” Stallings said. “We just didn’t go in with very much confidence.”

Looking toward the rest of the district season to be played after the Christmas holidays, Stallings hopes the team realizes what faces them in Columbus and Starkville.

“We have a long way to go to dig ourselves out of this hole,” he said. “Columbus and Starkville are coming up and will be extremely tough.”

Vetorra Cole, Skylar Barnes and Monteith Brewer each scored nine points.

The Lady Tigers played Charleston in a rematch Monday night but the scores were not available at press time. This weekend before the holidays, the Lady Tigers will participate in the Durant High School 2007 Invitational Basketball Tournament. The Lady Tigers will play Thursday against Durant High at 7 p.m., Friday against Williams-Sullivan at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday against McAdams at 3 p.m.

The teams will be off for Christmas and play in the Northwest Mississippi Basketball Expo hosted by Northwest Community College in Senatobia, December 27 through 29.