By David Wheeler
Special to the Journal
BOONEVILLE – The road was kind to the Itawamba Lady Indians on Thursday.
Getting key contributions from Tia Coleman and Latoya Collins, the Lady Indians held off the Northeast Lady Tigers 68-59 in the North Division opener for both squads.
“I liked that we showed some depth,” Lady Indians (4-3, 1-0) coach Nanci Gray said. “And getting Tia and Toya involved in the second half helped after each had two fouls early.”
It was Northeast (3-5, 0-1) that built an early 14-9 lead behind three baskets by Teresa Mays. After Itawamba forged ahead briefly, Northeast closed out the half strong, with Belmont’s Angelia Allen and Mays hitting baskets that gave the Lady Tigers a 36-27 halftime lead.
Two baskets to begin the second half by Belmont’s Leslie Robinson began some positive momentum for ICC that did not stop. And by the time Ripley’s Jayla Chills sank two free throws with 11 minutes, 3 seconds left in the second half, Itawamba had a 43-41 lead, and never trailed again.
(M) Itawamba 81, Northeast 60: The Indians (3-4, 1-0) got off to a smooth start, and were never challenged.
A 10-point effort early by Alex Anderson push the Indians to a 26-11 advantage. Itawamba led 37-26 at the half.
“It was a hard-fought rivalry game, and we were very determined tonight,” Indians head coach Grant Pate said.
Anderson was tops for Itawamba with 20, and Dimario Jackson scored 14 for Northeast (3-7, 0-1).