Too much Buchanan for Lady Oilers
By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
March 1, 2002
JACKSON New Albany's Ellen Buchanan, a 6-foot senior, was a one-girl scoring machine Thursday afternoon as she led the Lady Bulldogs to a 61-52 win over Heidelberg in the opening round of the Class 3A State Tournament at the Mississippi Coliseum.
An Ole Miss signee, Buchanan led New Albany with 33 points. At the end of the third quarter, she had 25 points to Heidelberg's 31.
Buchanan had 19 points by intermission, including 17 straight Lady Bulldog points as New Albany grabbed a 21-18 lead with just under five minutes left in the first half. None of those points came very far from the basket.
New Albany led 28-23 at halftime.
Princess Bender had 11 first half points with teammate Catina Fowler scoring 10 to keep the Lady Oilers in striking range.
New Albany did have two players in foul trouble by intermission as 6-foot senior Jazz Watson and senior guard Staranna Frazier both had three fouls.
An 8-0 run extended New Albany's 28-25 lead into a 36-25 advantage with 2:18 left in the third period. Kristin Ivy scored six of the eight points.
The Lady Bulldogs led 40-31 to start the fourth quarter.
Heidelberg got to within 45-39 with 5:03 remaining as Moneshia Cooley reeled off six points only to have New Albany ease back out to a 50-39 lead.
The Lady Oilers mounted one last run as two free throws and a basket by Bender and another basket by Shawana Stevens cut New Albany's lead to 55-52 with 40 seconds left.
Frazier made one free throw with 34.6 seconds showing, but missed the second. However, Ivy got the rebound and stuck it back and was fouled. Ivy then completed the three-point play for a 59-52 lead with 32.1 seconds left to wrap up the win.
Heidelberg was making only its second appearance in the state tournament.
Bender led Heidelberg, 23-15, with 18 points. Fowler scored 10, Cooley had seven, and Stevens and Jessica Yates both added six.
In addition to Buchanan's 33 points, New Albany, 32-6, also got 11 points from Ivy, nine from Frazier, and six from Jazz Watson.
Both teams shot well at the free-throw line. New Albany was 15-of-20, while Heidelberg was 14-of-18.
New Albany will take on Cleveland Wednesday at 1 p.m. in semifinal action.