By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – In November, it was a one-point halftime margin that the Itawamba Lady Indians turned into a 25-point victory over the Northeast Lady Tigers.
Tuesday night, the Lady Indians controlled the second half again.
Itawamba turned a one-point Northeast lead at the half into a 62-49 decision in favor of the Lady Indians in a battle for first place in the North Division.
“Obviously, we went in at halftime and talked about our shot selection,” Lady Indians head coach Nanci Gray said. “We talked about going inside with the ball, and we talked about our defensive intensity.
“Now we get back to the drawing board and get ready for Monday’s game because we’re only one game up.”
Her team will be home on Monday against Coahoma.
The Lady Tigers (9-7, 5-2) needed an 8-0 push late in the first half, capped by a Katie Garvin from Kossuth 3-pointer, to earn a 27-26 lead. Then the Lady Indians (12-6, 6-1) responded to Gray’s halftime emphasis.
Two Ayanna Lynn baskets highlighted an 8-0 run to open the second period for a 34-27 lead for ICC. Then a 9-0 run with two baskets by Bruce’s Jasmine Hampton and a Ty-Nita Baker 3-pointer pushed ICC to a 52-35 lead.
“Give credit to Itawamba, they put pressure on us in places that hurt,” Lady Tigers head coach Brian Alexander said. “The key stat in the game was that we shot 25 per cent in the second half.”
Baker from Houston tallied 16 points to lead ICC, with LaTonya Gadison and Angelia Allen from Belmont hitting 11 each for Northeast.
(M) Northeast 75, Itawamba 74: In a matchup of two teams needing a North win, the Tigers (8-8, 3-4) won behind a dramatic second half comeback.
After trailing 41-23 at halftime, Northeast’s Tyler Brunson hit a leaner from the lane with 4.3 seconds left for the game winner.
Ripley’s Acie Vance scored 16 for the Tigers, and Tadarious Coburn added 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Quinton Lee scored 19 for ICC (6-11, 1-7).
Northeast visits Northwest on Monday.