By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Jayla Chills was named Mississippi’s MVP in Friday’s Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Girls Basketball Game, but Ripley’s talented guard wasn’t thrilled with her performance.
“I could have done a lot of things better, especially on defense,” she said.
Better may not have been good enough to slow down Alabama’s Marqu’es Webb and Jasmine Rhodes, who scored 19 points apiece to lead their team to a 64-54 victory at Alabama State’s Dunn-Oliver Acadome.
Webb, a 6-foot-1 center and Vanderbilt signee, scored 15 second-half points and grabbed 14 rebounds to power Alabama.
“We couldn’t get anything going offensively in the second half,” said Pontotoc’s Bill Russell, who coached Mississippi. “Then the big girl for Alabama took over.”
Rhodes, a guard and LSU signee, scored 10 points in the first half to give Alabama a 35-33 lead.
Alabama jumped out to a 16-point lead in the first half only to see Mississippi rally behind Chills and Oxford forward Alexus Malone to cut the lead. Mississippi outscored Alabama 21-8 down the stretch in the first half.
Chills connected on two 3-pointers and scored her 11 points in the first half. Her 3-pointer with 1:29 left in the half cut Alabama’s lead to 32-31.
Malone added her six first-half points in the final 5 minutes as Mississippi rallied. She finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
(B) Alabama 87, Mississippi 76: Kenny Paul Geno’s dunk on a lob from teammate TreShawn Bolden of Jackson Callaway cut Alabama’s lead to 73-65 with 2:54 remaining, but it wasn’t nearly enough for Mississippi, which had trailed by as many as 20 points.
Booneville’s Geno closed out his high school career with eight points – two dunks and two putbacks.
He also had seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
“We made some adjustments at halftime,” Geno said. “We started blocking out and rebounding. We did well at the end, but they just hit too many shots.”
Alabama, which led 54-37 at halftime, got 17 points from Jeremy Johnson. Bolden was one of three Mississippi players with 11 points.