By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
FULTON – Chalk up a win for the Itawamba AHS Lady Indians.
Using a strong second-half defensive effort, the Lady Indians notched a 43-22 victory Thursday over a Division 1-4A foe, the Tishomingo County Lady Braves.
But was that good enough? Itawamba coach Amanda Morrow doesn’t think so.
“We’ve got figure out a way to raise our intensity level,” said Morrow, whose post-game message to the Lady Indians lasted into the second quarter of the boys contest. “There are just some things we are not executing well at this point in the season.”
The Lady Indians (6-3, 2-0) tried breaking open the game to begin the second quarter with a 6-0 run, capped by free throws by Jamyia Hill and Aniyah Marshall, for a 16-7 lead.
But the Lady Braves (5-5, 1-3) battled back. Post player Anne Claire Griffin scored nine points heading into the break, including a basket with 15 seconds left, to pull Tishomingo within 19-17.
“Our two goals tonight were blocking out and handling their pressure,” Tishomingo head coach Lauren Whitson said. “We did a good job of that in the first half, but we came out flat in the second half.
“Itawamba changed defenses, and we didn’t respond.”
The Lady Indians came out of the locker room with a bang, scoring the first 11 points of the third period. Defense was also key, as the Lady Braves only hit two field goals the entire second half, with IAHS outscoring the visitor 24-5.
Marshall led the Itawamba offense with 12 points, and Griffin paced Tishomingo with 13.
(B) Itawamba AHS 47, Tishomingo County 45: After leading most of the contest, the Indians saw the Braves move in front 40-38 on a Hunter Pounders basket with 4 minutes, 4 seconds to play.
But three field goals by DeAnte Whitfield for the Indians in the final 2:21 restored the home team to the lead.
Anthony Kennedy paced IAHS with 12, while Blake Hawkins led Tishomingo with 14. Itawamba led 28-22 at the half.