Lady Tigers improve

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 22, 2008

By Brad Greer

On the strength of a season-high 29 points from Sabrina Townsend, the South Panola Lady Tigers breezed past Houston 64-50 at home Friday night.

The Tigers improved to 14-6 on the season.

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South Panola jumped out to a 15-9 lead after one quarter then went on a 11-2 run in the second period to take a 31-19 lead at intermission. Essie Thomas knocked home a jumper in the paint with 5:15 left in the quarter to give the home team a 21-11 lead. Less than a minute later, Townsend followed that with a pair of free throws to expand the lead to 26-11.

Foul trouble plagued South Panola in the first half as starters Stalisha Draper, Thomas and Vetorra Cole collected three fouls each.  But Houston could not capitalize on the opportunity as the Lady Toppers converted 11- of – 23 from the free throw line on the night.

Townsend drilled a three-pointer as part of her 12 point third quarter with 5:30 left in the period to extend the lead to 42-30. Houston later cut the lead to 46-36 on a pair of free throws by Tiffany Pierce. The six-foot sophomore led the Lady Toppers with 19 points on the night.

Leading 54- 38 after the third quarter, the Tigers hit 50 percent on five-of-10 shooting from the floor in the fourth period. Cole’s jumper in the lane in the opening minute of the stanza gave South Panola a 54-39 lead. Chancedy Pulliam connected on a short jumper with 3:50 left in the game to get Houston within 10 once again at 56-46 but could not get any closer.

South Panola shot 50 percent ( 27-of-53) from the floor while committing 15 turnovers while the Lady Toppers shot 46 percent.

Cole followed Townsend in scoring with 13 points while sophomore Chasity Kearney added 10 points in her first start of the season. Thomas followed with six while Draper, Brittany Moore and Monteith Brewer all contributed with two points each.

South Panola will host Cleveland East Side tonight at 6 p.m.