Indians closer to their big goal

basketball_icon_greenBy Brandon Speck

Daily Journal

FULTON – Pontotoc and Ripley went down. Itawamba AHS wanted no part, not in its gym.

The Lady Indians are now one win away from a trip to Jackson, following a 50-45 win against Yazoo County in Thursday’s quarterfinals of the North 4A Tournament.

“We talk about it. We don’t try to hide it,” first-year Lady Indians coach Devin Hill said. “We’ve made our goals known at the beginning of the year. Jackson is where we want to be.”

Trailing by one with less than 2 minutes to play, Kim Mallory grabbed an offensive rebound and scored for a 45-44 lead. But no one was comfortable until Aniyah Marshall hit a pair of free throws with 7.2 seconds left.

She said she wasn’t nervous.

“We had to win the game and if those free throws were it, I had to make them,” she said.

Itawamba AHS (25-8) will play Shannon tonight at 7:30 p.m. Shannon eliminated Noxubee 76-67. IAHS won 2 of 3 meetings against the 1-4A foe.

“I expect the same kind of game, very intense,high octane,” Shannon coach Warren Jennings said.

After a two-point second quarter, the Lady Indians were down by 23-12 early in the third quarter, but an 18-0 run gave them a 30-23 lead.

An 11-5 run got Yazoo within a point, but Marshall’s 3-pointer at the buzzer had IAHS up by six. In a lead-swapping fourth, Itawamba made the final plays.

Mallory led IAHS with 15 points. Marshall had 14. Caprice Coleman scored 18 for Yazoo (20-6).

Shannon 76, Noxubee County 67: Shannon (22-7) scored 27 points in the first quarter and held off every Noxubee comeback attempt. Zakiyyah McMorris had 20, Alexandrea Metcalf 14.

“We ran like we always do. I think it was kind of hard for them to keep up,” Jennings said. “They’re quick, but we were getting in our situations.”

Post player Idralien Williams scored 29 for Noxubee.

brandon.speck@journalinc.com