By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
FULTON – What makes an undefeated team even more dangerous?
When Quinndella Ford shows her shooting touch.
With Ford scoring 22 points, the Pontotoc Lady Warriors remained undefeated Friday, shaking off a determined effort by the Itawamba AHS Lady Indians, to claim a 53-42 victory in the championship game of the Division 1-4A Tournament.
“We’re not going to play anyone as solid as Itawamba,” said Pontotoc coach Bill Russell, whose Lady Warriors have now defeated Itawamba three times this season. “We just went at each other tonight.
“It was a well played game.”
From the first possession of the contest, it was apparent that both clubs were well prepared for the other. But, it was the undefeated Lady Warriors (28-0) that made the first and best move of the night.
Pontotoc went on a 13-0 run in the first quarter, with Kayla Russell draining one of the few 3-pointers attempted. Ford capped the spurt with 35 seconds left in the period with a post-up and basket for a 17-4 Pontotoc lead.
The Lady Indians (20-8) finally got a bit of offensive rhythm going as Janisha Adams worked effectively in the lane, scoring 12 points in the first half as Itawamba stayed close, trailing 28-18 at the intermission.
rough and tumble
The pace continued hard fought and deliberate, with Itawamba pulling with 49-42 on a Quay Dunn basket with 2 minutes, 3 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
But Ford, who scored 18 points in the second half, halted the Itawamba momentum with a sweet shot from the wing with 1:16 left. Marlee Hatcher added a layup for Pontotoc to help clinch the victory.
“I had a pretty good jump shot tonight,” Ford said. “This is great, everyone on the team is excited.”
Kim Mallory tallied 16 in the loss to lead Itawamba.
“We just didn’t execute, settled too much for things on offense,” Itawamba coach Amanda Morrow said. “But we still have lots of opportunity left.”
Both schools will host playoff games Monday against Division 3 teams, which will be determined tonight.
(G) Corinth 42, Tishomingo County 38: Erin Frazier led the Corinth girls with 16 points. Tishomingo led 23-21 at the half.
(B) Amory 74, Pontotoc 67: Anthony Robinson and Chris French each bagged 22 points for Amory. Amory led 40-25 at the half.