Top-seeded Taylorsville gets tight win over Lady Bulldogs
By By Fredie Carmichael/Special to The Star
Feb. 14, 2001
The old adage of "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game" should certainly be used to describe the inspired play of the home-standing Lady Bulldogs of Clarkdale on Tuesday night.
Clarkdale put up a good fight against the Division 7-2A's top seed, but was unable to overcome the hot-hand of Taylorsville's Amanda McGill as the Lady Tartars walked away with a 65-54 victory.
Richton won handily in the other girls' game Tuesday, taking a 66-26 decision over Seminary.
Taylorsville girls 65, Clarkdale 54: Oh so close. Clarkdale made the Lady Tartars from Taylorsville earn every bit of a hotly-contested opening round.
In what is normally a walk in the park game for the top-seeded team against a No. 8 seed, the Lady Bulldogs trailed only 52-50 with 3:35 to play after a crucial trey by Carmelita Naylor.
But Taylorsville ended the game on a 13-2 run and advanced to Thursday's semifinal round.
After a Naylor three-point play to end the half, the Lady Bulldogs only trailed 29-24, and went into the locker room with some momentum. They did, after all, have to overcome a 16 point first half outing by McGill.
McGill proved to be the hurdle Clarkdale just couldn't seem to get over.
Taylorsville got off to a fast-paced start in the second half and quickly lengthened its lead to 35-25 on a baseline jumper by Courtney Bender with 5:10 left to play in the third period.
Clarkdale's Naylor began to heat up and the Lady Bulldogs cut the lead to 41-33 by the end of the third quarter.
McGill tried to pull the Lady Tartars away as she netted seven consecutive Taylorsville points for a 48-34 advantage with 6:35 to play.
Naylor then started launching 3-point bombs and driving to the basket as she scored 10 of Clarkdale's next 16 points to pull the Lady Bulldogs to within 52-50 with 3:35 left.
But the Lady Tartars wore Clarkdale out in the end with a full-court press that sparked a 16-2 Taylorsville run and the win.
Followed by McGill's 31, Bender had 17 for the Lady Tartars. Naylor matched McGill's point total as she led the way for Clarkdale with 31 points.
Taylorsville is set to play Morton at 4 p.m., Thursday in semifinal action.
Richton girls 66, Seminary 26: Richton made no secret of the fact it was going to run, run, run. And run it did out to a 40-point win.
The Lady Rebels scored the game's first eight points and led 31-14 after the first quarter.
Jesmine Verschir had a game-high 24 points for Richton followed by Danielle Smith's 18. Seminary's Vanessa Gibbs netted 9 points to lead the way for the Lady Bulldogs.
Richton will face Bay Springs on Thursday at 7 p.m. in semi-final action.