New Site Lady Royals win fourth North title

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

NEW SITE – New Site can add another MHSAA Class 2A North Mississippi championship banner to its gym wall when the 2011-12 season is over.
The Lady Royals, however, would love to put a gold ball – the program’s first – in the trophy case. They’re two games away from accomplishing that elusive goal – New Site has lost in the state finals the last two seasons.
The quest for gold continues at 9 a.m. Friday when they play South runners-up Bassfield in the state semifinals at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.
The Lady Royals locked up a No. 1 seed when they defeated Walnut 80-36 Saturday night to win their fourth consecutive North half crown.
“We talked about playing two more games,” New Site coach Byron Sparks said. “It’s good to win a fourth North championship in a row, but don’t be satisfied.”
New Site (28-4), after a slow start by both teams, broke open a close game with a 35-point second quarter. The score at the end of the first quarter was 14-7 in favor of the Lady Royals.
Morgan Pearson scored 17 points and connected on two 3-pointers in the first half for the Lady Royals while sophomore Cristin Pharr came off the bench to hit four 3-pointers and add 16 first-half points.
Pearson finished with 21 points while Pharr had 20.
“Cristin Pharr really got us going,” Sparks said. “She came in and gave us a spark off the bench. She did that for us Thursday night against J.Z. George.”
Christy Clark, who scored 13 points, had a 9-point third quarter to help New Site take a commanding 67-28 lead heading into the final period. Clark, a junior, has been on all four North title teams.
“Winning state is definitely our main goal,” she said. “I think we’ve got a good chance of getting (a gold ball) this year.”
Walnut (25-8) was led in scoring by Taylor Doyle with 13 and Becky Robinson with 10. The Lady Wildcats will play the South winner Taylorsville at 1 p.m. Friday in Jackson.
gene.phelps@journalinc.comJohn Pitts 2/18/12 2A North
New Site 80, Walnut 36
Walnut 7 14 7 8 – 36
New Site 14 35 18 13 – 80
Leading scorers: (NS) Morgan Pearson 21, Cristin Pharr 20, Christy Clark 13, (W) Taylor Doyle 13, Becky Robinson 10.
Records: New Site 28-4, Walnut 25-8
Notes: New Site won fourth consecutive North Mississippi championship. The Lady Royals and Lady Wildcats advanced to this week’s state tournament.

Click video to hear audio