By Jay Tidwell/Special to the Journal
NEW ALBANY – The last time Rosa Fort and New Albany met, it was a battle to the finish.
This time wasn’t any different.
Behind 23 points by 6-foot-9 post player Moses Kingsley, New Albany rallied for a 79-72 win in overtime to capture the Division 2-4A championship on Friday night.
“I was proud of our guys, because they overcame adversity tonight,” coach Brad Gray said. “This may have been the best game we’ve played all year. I believe our guys just wanted this one more than they did.”
The Bulldogs trailed 31-30 at the break, but regrouped for a 48-39 lead on Marcus Reed’s basket along the baseline with 1:23 remaining in the third.
Kingsley missed a chance for a bucket to win it in regulation, but made up for it with 7 points in OT.
“This is special because we’ve beaten them two times in a row,” said the tall center. “This win was big and really builds our confidence up.”
Eric Chaney scored 20 and Marcus Reed tossed in 13 for New Albany (17-9).
John Ankston, a senior point guard, had 13 points in the first half for the Lions. He finished with 15 after fouling out with 4:38 remaining in the fourth. Billy Jackson logged a team-high 19 for the Tunica County team.
(G) New Albany 49, Lafayette 47: A night after struggling with its leading scorer ailing, New Albany rallied for an amazing comeback without her. Alisha Smith scored 13 of her game-high 24 points in a thrilling fourth-quarter rally for the Lady Bulldogs (13-12).
Jazmine Spears, who was announced as the division MVP after the match, was unable to play due to illness. New Albany trailed the Lady Commodores (12-13) by as many as 15 late in the third period.
Mykira Buford and Tiffany Ragsdale scored 10 each to lead Lafayette.
(G) Senatobia 74, North Pontotoc 65: In the girls championship match, the Lady Vikings (24-6), led by Andrea Lewis with 21 points, were unable to overcome two double-digit deficits in the seond half. Tekvanna Young scored 24 for the Lady Warriors (16-14), who avenged their 59-42 loss to North on Jan. 24.
(B) Senatobia 67, North Pontotoc 60: Marcus Green had 32 points for the second time this week for the Vikings (19-12), but the Warriors (14-15) capitalized on three turnovers in the final minute to earn the No. 3 seed.