By Gene Phelps
NETTLETON – Jabria Pounds wasn’t taking any chances Tuesday night.
The Nettleton guard stole the ball with 5.2 seconds remaining, then drove down the court for a layup to give the Lady Tigers a thrilling 60-57 victory against Booneville in a non-division game between 3A teams.
“I just wanted to score,” Pounds said. “I wanted to make sure we had enough (points) to win.”
Booneville (16-4), which came in ranked No. 9 in Northeast Mississippi and as the newly-crowned Prentiss County Tournament champions with wins against ranked Baldwyn and New Site, lost the ball on the perimeter as it was working for a potential winning shot.
Nettleton (14-5) had taken the lead with 13 seconds left on two free throws by Corian Whitfield.
“We were trying to get a stop and not let them score,” said Pounds, who had 13 points. “We didn’t want to let them get a shot off.”
The Lady Tigers begin division play Friday when they host Winona. Head coach Shelley Parman believes the win should be a confidence booster for her team.
“It will definitely help with division starting Friday,” she said. “We had a tough week last week. We beat Saltillo by one point and lost to Shannon (in the Lee County Tournament finals),” she said. “We worked on the little things. That was our focus tonight.”
Nettleton took a 12-point lead late in the third quarter – 45-33 – on a field goal by Meredith Lee, who led the Tigers with 15 points.
Booneville, behind its pressing defense, answered in the fourth quarter with scoring from Adallice Young, Cora Geno and Dashiyah Agnew. Young paced the Lady Devils with 18 points.
Booneville tied the score at 54-54 on a free throw by Young with 1:53 remaining.
“We had a hard time adjusting to their man defense and let them back in the game,” Parman said.
(B) Booneville 60, Nettleton 52: Joseph Caver scored 20 points, including four on free throws in the final minute, to lead the Blue Devils.
Nettleton’s Chris Long led all scorers with 22.