By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
The Itawamba Community College Lady Indians are rolling along with a two-game lead in North Division play.
Seems like a nice margin with three game remaining for the Lady Indians, but there is still plenty to play for in that short period of time.
With victories in two of its last three games, Itawamba would qualify to host the state tournament.
And the Lady Indians get an opportunity to chalk up one of those wins today as they host rival Northeast in a contest that tips off at 6 p.m.
“It’s the next game on the schedule, but it is a rivalry thing, too,” Lady Indians coach Nanci Gray said. “The dynamics will be different than the last time we played, and I hope the kids will keep their focus.
“We do have that lead in the North, and we want to protect that.”
The Lady Indians (18-2, 9-0) defeated the Lady Tigers (8-13, 4-6) on Jan. 23 by a score of 86-73 at Northeast.
Itawamba is led in scoring by LaPrecious Naylon at 15.2 points per game, while Northeast is paced by Anna Brooke Paige from Belmont at 17.0 ppg.
With the top four teams from each division qualifying for the state tournament, the Lady Tigers need to chalk up a win as well, currently tied for third in the North with two games remaining.
A playoff berth is also on the line in the men’s contest, which tips off at 8 p.m. at the Davis Event Center.
Both ICC (8-12, 4-5) and Northeast (13-7, 4-6) are tied for the final playoff berth in the win column with four each.
“This is obviously an important game,” Northeast coach David Robbins said. “I think the North schedule has shown that this year, if you don’t come ready to play, anybody can beat you any night.”
Itawamba won the previous meeting of the two 72-69, helped by a last-second shot by Tupelo’s Deontaye Ewing. Acie Vance from Ripley leads the Tigers in scoring at 18.1 ppg, while D. J. Gardner from Okolona paces Itawamba at 15.0.