Lady Tiger Basketball

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 5, 2009

South Panola’s Chasity Kearney (center) fights through the Desoto Central doubleteam including Christian Moss (left). The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

Lady Tigers remain undefeated

By Myra Bean

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The No. 4 ranked South Panola Lady Tigers upped their record to 10-0 after winning both games in the Desoto Central Holiday Tournament Saturday and Monday.

The Lady Tigers defeated Southaven 65-34. The boys defeated Southaven 67-34.

Game high scorers, Chasity Kearney with 24 points and Rico Keys with 34 points, earned spots in The Clarion-Ledger’s Top Performers for this week. Vetorra Cole also scored 22 points for the Lady Tigers.

The Lady Tigers dominated Southaven from the beginning, taking a 22-4 first quarter lead. At the half, the Lady Tigers were up 36-12.

The second half scoring was a little more even with the Lady Tigers outscoring Southaven 29-22.

The Tigers had a little more battle on their hands in the first half. They outscored Southaven 11-4 and led 29-16 at the half.

Monday night, the Tiger teams met up with the Desoto Central Jaguars and were in for a battle.

The Lady Tigers came out with a 59-49 win, but the Tigers faced their third loss of the season, 69-55.

Before the start of the game, Lady Tiger head coach Ralph Stallings said, “It’s going to be a good game.”

His prediction came true.

The game was tied twice in the first quarter at two and again at six. Two free throws by Kearney broke the tie and gave the Lady Tigers the lead going into the second quarter, 12-9. The lead was 14-9 before Desoto Central completed a three-point play by Hayley Winningham to cut the led 14-12 with 6:39 left in the half.

On two free throws by Raquel Burdette the Lady Tigers retook command of the game and built a 20-12 lead on a field goal by Cole and an assist from Burdette to Skylar Barnes with 4:16 left in the half. Barnes had a block, but the ball went out of bounds and Desoto Central capitalized, getting the ball back with a field goal.

The last three minutes were a battle for both teams from the field and at the free throw line. The Lady Tigers committed three fouls, sending Desoto Central to the line for a total of five points.

At the half, the Lady Tiger lead had been cut 24-22.

The third quarter was not a sit down quarter for either team. The Lady Tigers led by five a couple of times during the quarter 28-23 and 42-37 with 44.2 seconds left. Desoto Central’s Winningham hit a three, stole the ball, dished it to teammate Christian Moss who scored with 2.5 seconds left in the third quarter to tie the score at 42.

That set up a fourth quarter possible upset on the part of the Lady Jaguars. The Lady Tigers would not be denied. They rallied around seniors Vetorra Cole and Racquel Burdette and junior Chasity Kearney who came through in crunch time.

Burdette stole the ball from the Jaguars and Kearney scored on an offensive rebound and was fouled. She completed the three-point play with the free throw.

It was hustle and bustle under both baskets before Kearney again scored with 6:51 left to give the Lady Tigers a little breathing room, 47-42. It was Burdette again on a tip, steal and field goal with 5:42 left in the game for the 49-42 score.

Cole scored with 5:01 left in the game for the 51-42 lead after the Jaguars had stolen the ball but turned it over out of bounds.

The Lady Tigers held the Lady Jaguars scoreless until 3:54 left in the game on a field goal by Moss for the 51-44 score. Moss hit one of two free throws a few seconds later to cut the score even more 51-45.

Cole scored on a field goal with 3:01 left in the game for the 53-45 score. She stole the Lady Jaguar ball and Lady Jaguar Rachel Kelly returned the steal. But the Lady Jaguars found themselves on the defensive again when they turned the ball over out of bounds.

There was 1:13 left in the game when Burdette scored the next two free throws for the 55-45 lead.

South Panola was hit with a foul and a technical foul and the Lady Jaguars’ Ashleigh Phillipps scored all four baskets for their final points of the game with 48 seconds left.

The Lady Tigers had chances for more scores but the tough game wore them down and they missed some free throws in the final seconds.

Barnes scored on a free throw. With 14.4 seconds left, Cole scored a free throw, stole the ball and scored the final field goal with five seconds left in the game for the 59-49 score.

Kearney led the Lady Tigers with 19 points, followed by Cole and Burdette with 13 and 12, respectively.

Moss led the Lady Jaguars with 17 points, followed by Phillips with 14.

South Panola Tigers

The Tigers probably had no doubt that down by 51-32 at the end of the third quarter that the Jaguars had the game in the bag.

The Jaguars came out smoking and left the Tigers in the dust before their home crowd as they took a 16-7 first quarter lead. The Tigers doubled their scoring in the second quarter, but the Jaguars still outpaced them 31-23 at the half.

Hustling was not the Tigers’ problem, but missed field goals and rebounds cost the Tigers.

The Tiger teams will be back in action today and tomorrow in the Cleveland Tournament. The girls play Ray Brooks at 2 p.m., followed by the boys at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, the losers of the games will play at 2 and 3:30 p.m.. The winners will play at 5 and 6:30 p.m.

The Tiger teams return to regular season action Tuesday to host Grenada in non-district action beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday, the Tigers will be in Starkville for district games beginning at 6 p.m.