SP Basketball

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lady Tigers remain undefeated in district

By Angie Ledbetter

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

When the season started after losing every starter except one, the South Panola Lady Tigers on paper did not look to be the top of the district food chain.

Surprisingly, they are undefeated in district play after they gave the Columbus Lady Falcons a 63-39 whipping Friday night on the road.

The Lady Tigers outscored Columbus 21-10 in the first quarter. The second quarter was low scoring on both sides with South Panola edging Columbus 6-4 to lead 27- 14 at halftime.

The Lady Falcons outscored the Lady Tigers in the third 14-10 but the Lady Tigers would rally in the fourth to score 26 points to the Lady Falcons’ 11.

“It was a real good division ball game,” said Lady Tiger head coach Ralph Stallings. “I thought the kids played solid all the way through it. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that we put everything out of reach. At the half, we were up by 13 points but Columbus was still there. They still had that potential in striking distance. We didn’t play well on the road till late.”

Stallings saw guard Christa Brown take the team on her shoulder in the fourth quarter.

“Of all people to take over the game in the fourth was my sophomore Christa Brown,” he said. “She just took over the game and they had no answer for her speed and quickness. She scored 21 points in the game but had 14 of those in the second half. Columbus was doing a good job of bottling Chasity up the second half. They were determined that she wasn’t going to beat them. We needed someone else to step up and Christa did. She had eight points in the fourth all with steals and lay-ups.”

Leading in scoring was Brown, 21 points, followed by Chasity Kearney, 16. Other scorers include Brittany Moore and Jelisa Lyons; seven each; Dorian Winfield, six; Jasmine Houston, four; and Turkessa Burgess, two.

“We’re surprised to be undefeated in the district,” Stallings said. “I knew we had good kids but it just took us awhile for them to get used to playing together. The coach from Columbus told me Friday night that she didn’t remember any of my kids and I told her that she will not because the only one that played last year was Kearney.

“Whether or not these kids were going to learn to mesh together and blend together into a basketball team remained to be seen,” Stallings continued. “It wasn’t until after we came back from Christmas that they started learning what each one could do and started having a little confidence in each other. They’ve realized we can’t do things other teams can do so we have take what we can do and try to do it to the best of our ability.”

Stallings said he will keep the team thinking positive.

“We’re really excited about being 3-0,” he added.

The Lady Tigers will be back on the road in non-conference play tonight as they travel to Saltillo. They will host Columbus Lady Falcons Friday night starting at 6 p.m.