By Zach Adams/The Itawamba County Times
PONTOTOC – After his girls beat Itawamba AHS 64-59 in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A North Mississippi tournament on Thursday, one of the first things North Pontotoc coach Shane Montgomery did was call his mom.
His Lady Vikings rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit behind 27 points from Andrea Lewis and 13 rebounds from Chelsea Mabry to keep their season alive.
“In the first half, their two bigs dominated us,” Montgomery explained before telling mom the good news. “We came off the boards better in the second half than we did the first and I think we played with more intensity.”
The Lady Vikings (24-6) jumped out to an early first quarter lead behind baskets in the paint by Mabry, but IAHS’ Kim Mallory and Quay Dunn, who led the Lady Indians (19-10) with 27 and 21 points respectively, scored from all over the court to give IAHS a 37-27 halftime lead.
North Pontotoc stone-walled the normally dynamic IAHS offense in the third quarter holding the Lady Indians just a single point while shots from Brittany Seale, Lewis and Mabry quickly closed the gap and gave the Lady Vikings a one-point advantage at the end of three.
“I thought the defense did a much better job in the third quarter of taking Dunn and Mallory away and not giving up those offensive rebounds,” Montgomery said.
perfect at line
Down the stretch, Lewis hit all 14 of her free throws to keep the lead large enough to hold off a surging IAHS.
“Andrea was clutch,” Montgomery said. “I’d rather have her at the free throw line than anybody else. We kept trying to get the ball in her hands and she stepped up big time.”
Mabry added 19 points for the Lady Vikings.