SP Lady Tigers basketball
By Brad Greer
Kadesha Poe’s layup with 15 seconds remaining in the game helped the Starkville Lady Yellowjackets to a 48-46 District 2-5A win over a reeling South Panola team Friday night.
The Lady Tigers, losers of their last five of six games, fell to 12-6 on the season and 0-3 in district play.
Following Poe’s basket, South Panola had one last gasp to either win or send the game into overtime, but Skyler Barnes could not get a clean shot off before the buzzer sounded.
“They (Starkville) were real physical and the officials let them play and I thought that took us out of our game since they were bigger than us. They roughed up my point guard pretty good there and never got any Calls. We had our chances there at the end but turnovers hurt us and things just did not work out,” said Tiger head coach Ralph Stallings.
South Panola tied the game at 46-46 on Vetorra Cole’s layup with 33 seconds left in the game. The basket then set up Poe’s game-winning shot. Cole had 10 of her 12 points in the second half including a short jumper at the 1:39 mark for a 46-44 Yellowjacket lead.
After taking a slim 25-23 lead into the locker room, Starkville went on a 6-2 run to start the third period. Kierra Jones, who led the Yellowjackets in scoring with 13 points, hit a jumper to give her team a 31-25 lead.
South Panola responded with a 11-5 spurt of their own late in the quarter to tie the game at 36-36 on Sabrina Townsend’s steal and three point play. Townsend led the Tigers by scoring 18 points on the night. The senior guard was red hot in the second quarter by connecting on four consecutive shots.
Turnovers plagued both teams throughout the game as Starkville committed 22 turnovers while South Panola turned it over 21 times. Both teams shot 46 percent from the floor. The Tigers hit on 4-of-8 free throws while the Yellowjackets connected on 8-of- 12 from the stripe.
Chasity Kearney, Barnes and Stalisha Draper followed Cole and Townsend in scoring with four points apiece. Monteith Brewer added three points while Essie Thomas added a free throw.
Stallings got a dose of double bad news after the game as it was learned that Barnes would be leaving school and moving to Tennessee with her family this week.
South Panola hosts Tupelo tonight at 6 p.m.