SP Lady Tigers basketball

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 19, 2016

South Panola’s Alexis Smith hustles in the low post in order to take control of the ball against Tupelo Tuesday night. Her 15 points helped the Lady Tigers win and play for the district championship title tonight at 7 p.m. in Hernando. The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

SP ladies play for district title tonight

By Myra Bean

The South Panola Lady Tigers made the old cliche, three times a charm, come true Tuesday night.

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They downed the Tupelo Lady Golden Wave 77-68 to force a third faceoff with the Columbus Lady Falcons tonight at 7 p.m. for the district championship.

In Hernando, who is hosting the district tournament, the Lady Tigers fought off the Lady Golden Wave in the third quarter to take a five-point lead into the fourth quarter, 48-43.

In their two prior meetings, Tupelo won 63-52 and 65-52.

“Our kids played hard for 32 minutes and never gave up,” said Lady Tiger coach Jemmye Ann Helms. “We have had times this season where we didn’t play as hard and smart for the full 32 minutes and we lost close games late. We over came that Tuesday night for the Tupelo game, very proud of my kids for their heart and effort.

“We had four of five starters in double figures and one starter with seven,” she continued. “We played great defensively throughout. Subs off the bench came in and gave us great minutes on offense and defense. It was a total team effort throughout the game.”

South Panola last played for the district championship in 2014.

Tupelo led 18-15 at the end of the first quarter.

Senior Jasmine Wright and sophomore Chloe Morgan sank a three-pointer each in the first quarter. Sydney Morgan completed an old-fashion three-point play.

Chloe Morgan also sank a three-pointer on an assist from her sister, Sydney, in the second quarter.

Wright tied the game at 18 in the second quarter on a free throw.

The Lady Tigers got a big boost in the second quarter from senior Alexis Smith who scored seven points to help them to a 32-29 halftime lead.

Tupelo took advantage of South Panola’s sluggish start for the first minute of the third quarter to take a 33-32 lead.

Wright’s free throw with 7:02 left tied the game at 33 and Marshala Doyle’s basket gave the Lady Tigers the 35-33 lead at the 6:03 mark. Tupelo retook the lead on a three-pointer 38-35. Temaye Williams’ field goal pulled the Lady Tigers back within one point, 38-37.

Tupelo went back up by four, 41-37 but Sydney Morgan’s three-pointer put the Lady Tigers back within one, 41-40, with 1:38 left.

Wright’s low post play on both ends gave the Lady Tigers the spark they needed to retake the lead with 1:18 to go on a three-point play. Then she scored a field goal with 20.5 seconds to go for the 45-43 lead and sank a three at the buzzer for the 48-43 lead.

The Lady Tigers did not let up in the fourth quarter and Tupelo got into foul trouble. The Lady Tigers sank seven of their 10 free throw opportunities in the fourth quarter.

Wright led the Lady Tigers with 22 points, eight rebounds, followed by Smith with 15 points, seven rebounds and one assist.

Also scoring in double figures were Chloe Morgan, 14 points and Sydney Morgan, 12 points. Sydney also had two steals, four rebounds and an assist.

Other scorers include Doyle, seven points, two steals; Williams, four points; and Jaterica Amos, two points.

The winner of tonight’s championship game will have a bye for the first round of the north state and will play next Friday, February 26.

The runner up will play the No. 3 team from region one, the winner of tonight’s Desoto Central vs. Southaven game Monday night at 7 p.m. at home.

SP Tigers fall in first round of district tourney

By Myra Bean

The South Panola Tiger boys fell for a third time this season to Columbus, 72-51.

The Tigers just did not have an answer for the Falcon offense as they were down 38-24 at halftime. Columbus led 54-40 going into the fourth quarter.

Jordin Smith led the Tiger scoring with 20 points followed by Kenon Johnson with 12. Other scorers include Bobby Thomas and Andre Gleaton with five points each; Ketrell Key, three points; and Montray Blackburn, two points.

The Tigers will play Hernando tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the consolation game. The teams split during the regular season.

The winner of this game will play the district runner up from region one Desoto Central or Southaven Monday at 7 p.m. at Desoto Central or Southaven.