Lady Rockets knock off Knights in title game
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Jan. 7, 2001
PHILADELPHIA It likely came as no surprise that Tausha Evans pumped in a game-high 27 points for Neshoba Central Saturday night.
But not many folks could have predicted the performance Neshoba head coach Billy Smith got from Evans' supporting cast.
The homestanding Lady Rockets placed four players in double figures and overcame a sluggish start, knocking off West Lauderdale 69-56 to claim the title of the Neshoba Central round-robin tournament.
The win improved the Lady Rockets to 15-6 on the season, and gave Neshoba a bit of revenge for an early-season loss to West Lauderdale, which is now 16-5.
Philadelphia won Saturday's other girls' contest, blasting Kosciusko 56-29.
Neshoba Central 69, West Lauderdale 56: It was a big night as usual from Evans, but it was the shooting and long-range shooting of some other Lady Rockets that surprised both Smith and West coach Jody Hurst.
The Lady Knights actually started the contest by scoring seven unanswered points, forcing Smith into a timeout just 66 seconds into the game.
But Neshoba worked its way back within 14-13 after one quarter, then hit five 3-pointers in the second quarter.
The first, by Elyse Willis, broke a 15-15 tie and put Neshoba Central ahead for good. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Evans and Krystal Wells pushed the lead to eight, and both Evans and Wells knocked down another 3-pointer apiece before the period was over to send Neshoba into the locker room with a 36-25 lead.
West didn't fold after the long-range barrage, but the Lady Knights never got any closer than five points closing to within 53-48 on a 3-pointer of their own by Kristina Gardner with 3:35 left in the game.
But Miranda Rosar got a key basket at the other end for Neshoba, then Evans picked the pocket of a West ball-handler for an easy lay-in that pushed the momentum back to the Lady Rockets.
Wells finished with 13 points, Rosar with 12 and Willis with 10 to aid Evans and her 27, while J.J. Huggins led West Lauderdale with 15 points. Gardner scored all 11 of her points in the second half for the Lady Knights, which also got nine points from Cierra Jennings and six each from Patty Monroe and Jawanda Huggins.
West played without starting guard Hayley Scarborough, while J.J. Huggins and starting point guard Julie McCrory both battled flu-like symptoms on the court.
Philadelphia 56, Kosciusko 29: The Lady Tornadoes coasted to an easy win over Kosy, exploding for 23 third-quarter points to break the game open.
Philly started the game on a 10-3 run and led 22-13 at halftime before the 23-6 edge in the third quarter blew it open.
Kedria Watson led the Lady Tornadoes with 14 points, while Shekara Young scored nine. Jessica Clemons and Erica Clemons added six points apiece for Philly.
Katherine Potts and Aly Frazure scored seven points apiece to lead Kosciusko.