By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
NEW SITE – Grace Elliott was pumped up by the large, enthusiastic home crowd.
The New Site fans were super-charged by the 6-foot sophomore’s performance – a career-high 29 points, eight rebounds – in Saturday’s 65-55 win against Potts Camp in the Class 2A North Mississippi tournament’s champion-ship game.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a game like this,” Elliott said. “Our team was fired up and ready to play.”
Both teams advance to this week’s state tournament in Jackson – New Site (30-4) plays Amite County at 6:30 p.m. Friday while Potts Camp (28-5) plays Scott Central at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The Lady Royals, who celebrated their fifth consecutive North title, took a 45-43 lead into the fourth quarter.
Behind 14 points from Elliott and a defense that forced eight turnovers, New Site won the fourth quarter 20-12 and the game.
“Grace played well tonight,” New Site coach Byron Sparks said. “We made conscious effort to get her some touches.”
The lanky Elliott was also a factor on defense, even when she wasn’t around the ball, Sparks noted.
“She’s can disrupt on top of that press,” he said. “We were able to get some turnovers in the fourth quarter and push the game out.”
Christy Clark, the Lady Royals’ senior playmaker at guard, scored 19 points with 10 of those coming in the third quarter.
“I expected anything from any of them,” Potts Camp coach Tana Miller said. “New Site’s loaded.
“Our effort was there. We came here to play for first. We played fourth quarters, we just made some mistakes.”
The Lady Cardinals (28-5) were led by Tenesha Woods with 23 points. Jessica Peterson added 12.
Elliott came off the bench to score 14 first-half points to give the Lady Royals a 34-33 halftime lead.
Elliott’s 3-pointer from the left baseline gave New Site its lead. However, she did most of her damage around the goal, scoring on layups and putbacks.
“She can play any position, one through five, when we bring her off the bench,” Sparks said.