Wayne's shooting ends 5A run
FAST BREAK Wayne County's Rakesia Gray tries to chase down Columbus' Dianca Jones. Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
March 5, 2002
JACKSON When you can't make shots in the Big House, you go home. That's what happened to South State 5A champ Wayne County on Monday night here at the Mississippi Coliseum.
The Lady War Eagles went over 10 minutes without a single field goal starting from the mid-point of the second quarter and going until the final 2:37 of the third. In between, Columbus methodically made its shots in the second half and in the process took a mildly surprising 43-33 win over Wayne County in the 5A Girls State semifinals.
Columbus, now 30-5, will face the Tupelo-Murrah winner on Friday night for the State 5A title. The Lady Falcons are hoping for another shot against Tupelo, the state's top ranked team, and a team they lost to in Meridian for the divisional title.
Wayne County saw an outstanding season come to a bitter end. The Lady War Eagles of Gina Skelton close the year with a 35-2 mark.
Skelton said it was her team's frigid shooting was the difference.
Wayne County made just 13 field goals in the game. It's overall shooting was in the low 20-percent range. The first quarter was Wayne's best where they made five field goals to grab a 13-8 lead.
Columbus got a three-pointer from Jennifer Latham to pull within 13-11 at quarter's end.
The Lady Falcons then scored the next four points to grab a 15-13 lead. Natalie Jordan and Ratassia Worsham made baskets for Wayne, the final coming at the 4:50 mark of the second quarter to make it 17-17.
It stayed that way until 12 seconds were left when Columbus' Michelle Poindexter made a left-handed shot in the lane to make it 19-17 at the half.
The 6-foot-1 Poindexter and guard Dianca Jones controlled things in the third quarter. The pair combined for 11 points as Columbus eased out to a 32-18 lead. In that span, Wayne County couldn't get anything to go down.
A brief flurry at the end of the quarter got Wayne to within seven at 32-25 going to the final quarter.
They got it down to four at 34-30 when Natalie Jordan hit a trey with 4:26 left. Poindexter answered hitting two free throws to put Columbus back up six at 39-33.
Jones then made three of four free throws in the final 23 seconds to finish it off. She ended with 14 points.
Columbus coach Scott Talent praised the effort of Poindexter who made eight shots from the block and ended with 18 points.
Talent also liked his team's defensive effort on Wayne County.
Jordan led Wayne County with 10 points. Nicole Jordan chipped in seven. Carla Bartee, one of Wayne's top scorers, had just two points.