Lady Bears hit the road as playoffs resume

Lauren McCreless averages about 20 points and nine rebounds for Alcorn Central. (Berecruited.com)

Lauren McCreless averages about 20 points and nine rebounds for Alcorn Central. (Berecruited.com)

By Brandon Speck

Daily Journal

No better time to break a two-game slide than tonight for Alcorn Central.

The Lady Bears (17-13) lost two straight games in the Division 1-3A Tournament, both without leading scorer Lauren McCreless. Now it’s do or … don’t as the Class 3A North Tournament begins.

Three wins this week will advance them to the state tourney. A loss tonight ends their season.

“Everybody hates a losing streak,” Alcorn Central coach Charlette Foster said. “But when you’ve lost to Kossuth and Belmont, you’ve lost to two good teams. Our district is very strong.”

Foster feels good about all four 1-3A teams’ chances of advancing past tonight. Her team goes to Holly Springs.

“I feel like we have more firepower. I feel like we have a legitimate shot,” Foster said. “I feel good about our scoring, the way we crash the boards and I feel good about our defense.

“I know Holly Springs has a great guard, who can do anything she wants to, but I think we have a great chance.”

North State playoffs schedule

A loss would be the end of a career for some of that firepower. Senior Alexis Harmon is the Lady Bears’ second-leading scorer at 18 points per game, while sophomore point guard Briley Talley averages 10.

They help carry the scoring load with the 5-foot-8 McCreless, who averages nearly 20 points, as well as nine rebounds. She missed the last two games sick.

“I’m glad I’ve got Lauren McCreless. I’m glad she doesn’t belong to anybody else. She had seven assists, seven steals, eight rebounds and 25 points in a game,” Foster said. “Who does that on both sides?”

brandon.speck@journalinc.com