Indians, Lady Indians advance to playoffs

By SCOTTY NICHOLS
Sports Editor

FULTON – In an eventful week at the Davis Event Center on the campus of Itawamba Community College, the four-day division 1-4A tournament didn’t end exactly how the Itawamba AHS boys’ and girls’ basketball teams desired but, in the end, they both ended up reaching a season-long goal.
With round one of the class 4A playoffs kicking off on February 22 and 23, the Indians and Lady Indians are both alive and kicking.

(B) IAHS 81, Tishomingo County 53 – 2/16
The Indians began tournament week with a familiar rival – the Tishomingo County Braves – and took care of business

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS junior Austin King flushes a breakaway one-handed jam against Tishomingo County during the division 1-4A tournament at ICC, while the student section reacts.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS junior Austin King flushes a breakaway one-handed jam against Tishomingo County during the division 1-4A tournament at ICC, while the student section reacts.

for the third time this season.
With 18- and 9-point victories over the Braves already in hand this season, the Indians cruised to their easiest win, a 28-point decision, in the most important game between the two.
Tempers flared early, as Tishomingo County coach Josh McCalmon was hit with a technical foul late in the first quarter after disputing a call with an official.
Later in the game, three more technical fouls and an ejection would plague the Braves.
All the while, IAHS put more and more distance between themselves and their rivals to the north, solidifying a spot in the postseason.
The Indians hit the accelerator in the third quarter behind 9 quick points from Vijay Miller and a breakaway slam dunk by Austin King, which brought the crowd to their feet and crushed any hope the Braves still had.
The Indians closed the quarter out on a 15-4 run and continued to dominate until the final buzzer.
IAHS was very efficient from the field and the free throw line, while the Braves finished the night an abysmal 13-of-38 from the charity stripe.
Miller led the Indians with 21 points, followed by King with 16 and Desmond Shumpert with 12.

(G) Corinth 63, IAHS 57 – 2/18
The Lady Warriors came into the 1-4A tournament facing an uphill battle, but they also came into the tournament with an attitude.
Corinth easily dispatched Tishomingo County on Tuesday, 59-36, then stared at the top two seeds and perennial powerhouses, IAHS and Pontotoc.
IAHS seemed to be just a bit behind during the entire contest against Corinth, with their biggest lead of the night being a 30-24 mark just before the Lady Warriors would cut it to 30-28 just before the half.
Corinth opened the third quarter on a 12-3 run and remained out in front until the end.
The Lady Indians got a huge three from Alondra Gordon to cut the Corinth lead to 60-57 with just over a minute to go in the game, but the Lady Warriors would sink three free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach.
IAHS’s Constance Dunn finished with a game-high 27 points, followed by Tori Mallory with 17.

(B) Corinth 58, IAHS 41 – 2/18
The Indians gave Corinth fits in the early goings, but the top-ranked Warriors found a way to overcome it and cruise to a 17-point victory and earn a berth in the 1-4A tournament championship game.
IAHS held Corinth to just 2 points in the entire second quarter, while putting up 19 of their own, and built a 30-20 lead at the halftime break.
The Warriors immediately repaid the favor in the third quarter, outscoring the Indians 19-4, including a 12-0 run to start the second half and retake the lead.
A 13-2 Corinth run in the middle of the fourth quarter put all the space between the two teams that they needed to advance.
Austin King led IAHS with 9 points.

(G) IAHS 53, Shannon 51 – 2/19

 

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM IAHS's Maddie Johnson looks for an outlet after haulilng down a rebound against Shannon in the 1-4A tournament at the Davis Event Center.

PHOTO BY SCOTTY NICHOLS I BUY AT PHOTOS.ITAWAMBATIMES.COM
IAHS’s Maddie Johnson looks for an outlet after haulilng down a rebound against Shannon in the 1-4A tournament at the Davis Event Center.

The Lady Indians didn’t want to be in the consolation round of the 1-4A tournament, but it became apparent how it could’ve happened.
The top four teams in 1-4A have been duking it out “SEC football-style” for the past several weeks, as top two seeds Pontotoc and IAHS had split with each other, while Pontotoc had lost to Shannon and IAHS lost to Corinth. Corinth was swept by Pontotoc in the regular season and was also beaten earlier by IAHS, while Shannon has played everyone tooth and nail in the regular season.
It only made sense that the tournament would be the venue for complete havoc.
IAHS built a small 5-point lead over Shannon at the half, and the two teams would go at each other until the last second ticked off the clock.
The Lady Raiders got a layup to cut the IAHS lead to 53-51 with 0:08 seconds left in the game, then the Lady Indians turned it over with just 0:03 left on the clock.
IAHS forced a bad inbound pass, as Maddie Johnson pounced on the loose ball and let the clock run out to secure the No. 3 playoff seed.
Tori Mallory led the Lady Indians with 18 points, while Constance Dunn finished with 14 and Elisabeth Cleveland added 12.

(B) Shannon 63, IAHS 49 – 2/19
The Indians stayed with the Red Raiders most of the night, and limited Shannon’s top-scorer, CJ Brim to just 6 points.
Unfortunately, Rocquis Coleman stole the show, scoring a game-high 28 points to lead the Raiders to victory.
After Desmond Shumpert hit a pair of threes to cut into the Shannon lead, the Red Raiders closed the game out on a 12-5 run to extend the margin of victory.
Vijay Miller led IAHS with 17 points.

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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