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Lady Warriors hold off Lake rally

By By Marty Stamper/staff writer
Jan. 5, 2002
FOREST – For the second game in a row here, the Choctaw Central Lady Warriors built a big lead and then survived a big scare as they defeated Lake 70-58 in the semifinals of the Central Mississippi Classic Friday afternoon.
Choctaw Central, a Class 3A state semifinalist last year, improved to 16-1, while the defending Class 1A state champion Lady Hornets dropped to 10-3.
In their 82-71 opening-round win over Newton on Wednesday, the Lady Warriors had a 20-point lead in the second half, saw it evaporate to a single point, and then closed with 13 of that game's final 16 points.
Friday's first quarter ended in a 13-13 stalemate. Choctaw Central went on a 7-0 run to take a 25-18 lead on a 3-pointer from Willamae Thomas late in the second quarter. The Lady Warriors carried a 31-24 advantage into halftime behind 13 points from Deaundrea Johnson.
A 3-pointer from Shavon Willis put the Lady Warriors up by 13 at 42-29 with just under six minutes to go in the third period.
The Lady Warriors led 49-38 to start the fourth quarter.
Lake began cutting into that lead and trailed by only two (53-51) after two baskets from April Viverette and a 3-pointer from Kim Cox with 4:13 remaining.
Choctaw Central made nine of its 10 free throws over the final 3:57. For the game, the Lady Warriors were 18-of-24 at the charity stripe.
The Lady Hornets got a free throw from Kimyatta Viverette and a basket from the 6-foot-1 senior to get to within a point at 55-54 with 3:45 showing.
Choctaw Central scored 13 of the game's next 14 points to go up 68-55.
The Lady Warriors got 23 points from Johnson, 14 from Chantay Frazier, 11 each from Willis and Trish Phillips, and eight from Thomas.
The next three weeks will be crucial to the Lady Warriors' season as their next six games are against Division 5-3A competition. Choctaw currently leads the league with a 6-0 mark.
Lake, 10-3, got 26 points from Kimyatta Viverette and 17 from Cox.
Forest boys 81
Union 44
In the first three minutes and 41 seconds of the boys' semifinal, Forest's 6-foot-8 sophomore Charles Rhodes had 11 points, one blocked shot, a dunk, and a 3-pointer as the Bearcats led 13-3.
Forest led 24-8 at the end of the first quarter with Rhodes racking up 15 points.
Rhodes had 17 points and Pierre Barlow had 11 as Forest carried a 43-17 lead into halftime.
Forest, 15-2, led by as much as 47 points in the fourth quarter.
The Bearcats got 18 points apiece from Rhodes and Barlow and seven each from Michael Hayes, James Dixon, and Jacquas Jones as Forest coach Steve Harber got his 490th career boys' victory with 350 coming in a 16-year stint at Union.
Douglas Wansley scored 13 points and Quincy Larkin added 11 for Union, 8-8.
Forest girls 48
Scott Central 42
Forest made 15-of-22 free throws over the final 5:38 to advance to tonight's girls' championship game with Choctaw Central. The Lady Bearcats' only basket during that span was a 3-pointer from Pharen Nelson that gave them a 37-36 lead with 3:15 to play.
Photasha Derrick completed a 12-0 run that put Forest up 42-36 with a pair of free throws with 1:22 remaining. Derrick was 6-of-8 at the free-throw line down the stretch.
It took Forest seven minutes and 47 seconds to get its first field goal of the contest, but the Lady Bearcats trailed only 9-6 at the end of the first quarter after scoring two baskets in the final 13 seconds of the period.
Scott Central led 23-16 at halftime and 34-28 to start the fourth quarter.
Forest, 10-6, got 14 points from Sheena Evans, 12 from Ebone'e Leverette, and eight from Derrick.
Scott Central, 13-6, got 18 points from Kattie Nickson, 16 from Britney Burks, and six from Elyse Clay.
Pearl boys 75
Lake 43
The Pirates outscored Lake 45-13 in the second half of the boys' losers' bracket contest.
Lake led 17-16 after one quarter and entered halftime even at 30-30. Pearl outscored the Hornets 21-9 in the third quarter.
Pearl, 6-14, got 24 points from Kenny Jenkins and 18 from Matt Buchanan, who hit four 3-pointers.
Lake, 3-10, got 12 points from Willie Hickman and 10 from Danny Towner.
Play begins today at 4 p.m. with Scott Central, 13-6, playing Lake, 10-3, in the girls' third place game. Union, 8-8, takes on Newton, 8-7, at 5:30 in the boys' third place contest. At 7, Forest, 10-6, hosts Choctaw Central, 16-1, for the girls' championship with Forest, 15-2, meeting Choctaw Central, 7-7, at 8:30 in the boys' title game.