By Adam Gore/Special to the Journal
RIPLEY – Kossuth was the sleeper coming into the North Mississippi 3A Tournament this week in Ripley.
That was until the Lady Aggies (19-9) woke up the rest of the North teams in the race to Jackson with their 57-43 win over the Independence Lady Wildcats (20-8) on Thursday.
Spearheaded by their ruckus student section and three third-quarter 3-pointers from senior Katie Garvin, Kossuth turned a 23-21 halftime lead into a 37-30 advantage by the end of the period.
The Lady Wildcats battled back to make it a four-point contest, but the Lady Aggies never blinked in the face of adversity.
“We’ve played teams like Myrtle, New Albany, Ripley, and Belmont this year, and even though some of those games ended up being loses, they prepared us for this game,” Kossuth head coach Larry Johnson said. “Independence is a very good team and plays a very physical style of basketball, but the girls never seemed to let that get to them.”
In the end, the Kossuth Krazies filled the Ripley High School Event Center with the chants of “Larry! Larry! Larry!” as Coach Johnson and the Lady Aggies pulled away for the 14-point victory as Odyssey McGaha scored half of her game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter.
Garvin finished with 15 while Kristian Mays led Independence with 13 points.
The Lady Aggies will take on the Belmont-Leflore County winner today at 7:30 p.m.
– (G) Eastside 46, Nettleton 40: Cleveland Eastside (22-5) got 11 fourth quarter points from junior Korkeyvia Frazier in its victory over Nettleton (17-9).
Camry Jones paced the Lady Tigers with 12 points.
– (G) Ripley 67, Charleston 27: The Ripley Lady Tigers (24-4) jumped out to a 21-10 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as they cruised to a 40-point victory over the Charleston Lady Tigers (13-15) in the opening game of the day. Shunquest Howell scored a game-high 17 for Ripley as 10 different players put points on the board for the Lady Tigers. Alexis Ross led Charleston with 9 points.
Ripley and Eastside will square off today at 6:00 p.m.
– (G) Belmont 73, Leflore County 64: Junior Angelia Allen scored a game-high 35 points as the Belmont Lady Cardinals defeated the Leflore County Lady Tigers 73-64 in the final game of the opening day of the Class 3A girls North State Tournament.
Leslie Robinson added 16 and Kelsi Montgomery chipped 10 points for Belmont (25-5) while Carlisha Walker paced Leflore County (23-6) with 19 points. Belmont will play Kossuth for the fourth time this season in an elimination game tonight at 7:30. The Lady Cardinals lead this season’s series 2-1 against the Lady Aggies.