By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
ECRU – Itawamba AHS came back to North Pontotoc and got a better result. The Lady Indians beat Tupelo 53-45 Saturday afternoon in the 16th Annual Robertson’s Sportswear Challenge.
IAHS lost here last Saturday against the Journal’s No. 1-ranked team, Ripley.
“We exploded from the beginning of the game,” Itawamba AHS coach Amanda Morrow said. “We’ve had a hard schedule the last week, but in the end I definitely think it’s going to benefit us.”
Each played without key players, No. 9 Tupelo without Casey Marshall, Itawamba without Aniyah Marshall, out for the last month.
The Lady Indians (15-8) led by 13 at the break. A pair of 3s from Jamiya Hill made it 43-28 IAHS in the third. Two free throws from Quay Dunn put the Lady Indians up 45-28 at the end of three.
Dunn scored 17 points for IAHS Kim Mallory had 14.
Tupelo cut it to seven on Braxton Thomas’ fourth-quarter basket. Thomas nearly forced a turnover on the other end. Two free throws from Bre Jernigan had the Lady Wave within 51-45 with 1:51 left. Dunn’s two free throws answered to seal the win.
Jaleigha Polk and Thomas scored 14 each for Tupelo (17-9).
“You’ve just got to give all the credit to Itawamba. They played quicker than us, one step ahead of us the whole game,” Tupelo coach Matt Justice said. “We couldn’t execute. (Casey) wasn’t here and it showed.”
(G) Starkville Academy 82, Memphis Home School 77: Starkville Academy hit nine of the game’s 24 3-pointers and remained unbeaten at 32-0. The Lady Vols led by 11 after three and got 22 points from Maggie Proffitt. Sarah Lytle hit six 3s and had a game-high 24 for MHEA (20-3), who gave SA its closest game of the season.
“It’s just teamwork, defense, rebounding, all the things I’m suppose to say, but it really is,” Lady Vols coach Glenn Schmidt said. “We’ve got somebody at every position that’s solid.”