Lady Indians overcome slow start, rally past Briarcrest

By SCOTTY NICHOLS
Sports Editor

PONTOTOC – The Robertson’s Sportswear Ladies’ Challenge annually

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM Tori Mallory gets off a shot in the teeth of the Briarcrest, TN defense during action in the Robertson's Sportswear Ladies' Challenge in Pontotoc last Saturday.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
Tori Mallory gets off a shot in the teeth of the Briarcrest, TN defense during action in the Robertson’s Sportswear Ladies’ Challenge in Pontotoc last Saturday.

exhibits some of the top girls’ basketball teams in the greater North Mississippi area and, usually, some top-notch programs from outside of the state.
This year’s slate was no different, as the Itawamba AHS Lady Indians took the hardwood and faced Briarcrest, Tennessee, just moments after Tupelo narrowly edged Red Bay, Alabama.
The Lady Saints quickly jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first three minutes, knocking down shots on offense and stifling the Lady Indians with their defensive pressure.
Tori Mallory finally put IAHS on the board with a pair of free throws midway through the first period, but Briarcrest would reach a 13-2 lead before the Lady Indians would really get cranked up.
IAHS would go on an 18-4 run over the last ten minutes of the first half, as Mallory would be unconscious, scoring an incredible 15 points during that span, including 10 unanswered points.
The Mallory-led surge pushed the Lady Indians in front, 20-17, at the half.
Briarcrest took a 22-20 lead early in the third quarter, but IAHS battled back to re-take the lead after a lane floater by Alondra Gordon and a three from the wing by Shanail Hughes.
With a 29-25 lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Lady Indians had an opportunity to blow the game open, but missed several chances to do so at the free throw line.
IAHS opened the final period just 2-for-8 from the charity stripe before Briarcrest could get on the board.
The Lady Indians built a 42-36 lead before having to survive a late surge from the Lady Saints.
Constance Dunn knocked down a free throw to give IAHS a 35-32 lead with just under :20 seconds left in the game, before Briarcrest got a jumper from the top of the key to pull within one point, 35-34.
Mallory was fouled with :04.3 seconds left and sank both free throws to give IAHS a 37-34 lead, then Maddie Johnson deflected the inbound pass, which fell into the arms of Dunn for a steal, to secure the victory.
The Lady Indians improve to 17-4 overall, and sport a 6-1 division mark as they head down the home stretch of the season.

scotty.nichols@journalinc.com
Twitter: @ScotNic24

About Scotty Nichols

Graduate of THE University of Mississippi. #HottyToddy. I like sports. And BBQ.

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