SP Lady Tiger basketball
By Myra Bean
The South Panola Lady Tigers and the Murrah Lady Mustangs tangled in the semi-final round of the MHSAA/CellularSouth State Basketball Tournament Thursday afternoon with the Tigers losing 54-37.
Murrah will face Greenville-Weston Saturday at 7 p.m. for the 5A State Championship. Greenville defeated Brandon 60-54 Wednesday night in the semi-final round.
Murrah defeated Greenville (22-11) for the North State tournament on February 23.
The Lady Tigers ended the season 24-8 and have won 12 of their last 14 games. The team appeared in its second game in 36 years in the state tournament. They placed third in the north half after downing Tupelo in the consolation round.
Murrah entered the game as the No. 3 team in the state with a 29-1 record. Their only loss was to Brookhaven on January 26, 44-42.
South Panola was down only by six 25-19 with 23 seconds left in the half when junior guard Essie Thomas went down hard on her back while going for a rebound and had to be transported to the hospital.
She was still being diagnosed at presstime.
The game was delayed for approximately 20 minutes while Thomas was being treated on the floor.
Head Coach Ralph Stallings said his team did not recover from the trauma of seeing their teammate fall during the second half and did not perform well allowing Murrah to dominate the remainder of the game.
South Panola scored 18 points in the second half while Murrah scored 29.
GAME HIGHLIGHTS: The Lady Tigers were led in scoring by Vetorra Cole who scored 17 and was the only South Panola palyer in double figures.
Class 2A concluded its state championship run last night. In girls 2A action, Philadelphia and H.W. Byers competed for the title. In 2A boys, Newton and Scott Central battled for the top spots. Scores were not available at press time.
Classes 3A and 4A will play state championships tonight. In boys 4A, Picayune will take on New Hope at 8:30 p.m. and in boys 3A Columbia will play Aberdeen at 2:30 p.m.
In girls 4A action, Yazoo County and Indianola Gentry will tie up at 7 p.m. In 3A action, Southeast Lauderdale and Franklin County will tie up at 1 p.m.
Class 1A will play its championship games before 5A on Saturday. In boys 1A, East Webster will play Durant at 2:30 p.m. In girls East Oktibbeha will face the undefeated Coldwater Lady Cougars at 1 p.m.
The boys 5A game will follow the girls 5A game which begins at 7 p.m. The Brandon/ Greenville winner will take on the Provine/Starkville winner.
All the championship games will be broadcast on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.