By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – New Site practiced this week on handcuffing Scott Central’s powerful one-two inside punch of Victoria Vivians and Tyisha Amos.
Unfortunately for the Lady Royals, the talented forwards refused to be taken prisoner in Friday’s MHSAA Class 2A State Tournament championship game at the Mississippi Coliseum.
Vivians, a 6-foot freshman, scored 26 points and had 12 rebounds, while Amos, a 5-10 senior, scored 13 and grabbed 15 boards to lead Scott Central to a convincing 59-43 victory.
“We knew we had to do two things – contain (Vivians), and keep (Amos) and (Vivians) off the boards,” New Site coach Byron Sparks said. “The two things we talked about that we had to do to win the game, we didn’t get done.”
Scott Central (32-2) established its game plan early, working the ball into Vivians, who scored 17 first-half points to give the Lady Rebels a 30-24 halftime lead.
Sparks was pleased to see the Lady Royals, who trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, rally down the stretch in the second quarter.
Morgan Pearson, who scored 35 points in New Site’s semifinal win against Lake, hit a 3-pointer and a runner in the Royals’ late surge.
“We had a good run at the end of the second quarter to cut it to six,” Sparks noted. “If we could have gotten a stop early (in the third) we might have gotten in a flow.”
Instead, it was Scott Central who made the early second-half move, jumping out to a 39-26 lead behind Amos and Vivians.
The Lady Rebels also put the clamps on Pearson in the second half, holding her to just two points. She finished with a team-high 16. Christy Clark added 15 for New Site.
“We knew New Site liked to spread the floor and attack off the dribble with (Pearson),” Scott Central coach Chad Harrison said. “We were not going to let her do that. Pearson’s a great player. I saw her score 35 against a good Lake team.”
New Site (27-5), which lost in the championship game to Newton last season, never seriously threatened in the second half.
“Last year, we expected to be here,” said Sparks, whose team lost its preseason all-state guard Krystal Jackson in December. “This year, getting back to the game was an accomplishment. I couldn’t be any prouder of these kids.
“We’re young; we’ve got everybody back.”