By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
NEW SITE – Anyone who follows New Site girls basketball will tell you Carleigh King’s tougher than a nickel steak.
The Lady Royals’ rough-and-ready senior point guard proved it again Thursday in New Site’s 70-26 victory against Calhoun City in the quarterfinals of the MHSAA Class 2A North Mississippi tournament when she took three charges in the first quarter.
“I was hoping to get a few more,” she said after the game, then smiled.
However, it was an innocent-looking bump in the back in the second quarter that sidelined King for the remainder of the game … and maybe for tonight’s elimination semifinal showdown against J.Z. George, a 36-29 winner over Coahoma County.
King, who was wearing a support sleeve on an injured left shoulder, suffered an injury to her right shoulder – a stinger – during a scramble on the perimeter.
“My entire hand went numb,” she said. “I got hit in the back of my shoulder. I had a sleeve on my other shoulder to keep it from sliding out of place.
“Maybe I need shoulder pads.”
King’s all-out play resulted in a bloody nose in last season’s state tournament semifinals loss to Kemper County. She’s also had two surgeries on her left knee (ACL, MCL, cartilage) and wears a brace.
“She’s tough,” New Site coach Byron Sparks said. “If anybody can get through this, it’s her.”
However, King’s status will likely be a game-time decision. She received treatment on her injured shoulder after Thursday’s game.
“I’ll have to talk to the trainer and my coach to see if I can play,” said King, who has received weekly treatment, including shots, all season on her sore knee.
Like her teammates, King’s focused on winning the school its first state championship in girls hoops. She certainly doesn’t mind playing hurt as she’s demonstrated.
“It’s worth it,” she said.
Krystal Jackson, who recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Lady Royals (28-1), said having King in the lineup is crucial to New Site’s success.
“She gets the ball down court and she plays good defense,” Jackson noted. “She’s injured quite a bit, but that’s because she hustles a lot.”
New Site got a double-double from post Darrah Pharr, who had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Bree Harris added 15 points with nine coming on three 3-pointers in the first half.
Sarica Coffey scored 10 for Calhoun City (10-20).
“This was a game where you’re supposed to go out and take care of business,” Sparks said. “We did things right and jumped on them early. I’m proud we accomplished that.”
Bruce 85, Hickory Flat 46
The Lady Trojans (20-5) used their press to pick up the tempo and break open a close game in the second quarter.
Bruce outscored Hickory Flat 28-10 in the second after an 11-11 first quarter.
Jasmine Hampton scored 26 points and Morgan Vickery 24 for the winners. Shalona Reynolds scored 16 to pace Hickory Flat (14-16).
“I thought we did a good job changing the pace of the game,” Bruce coach Davin Young said.
The Lady Trojans will play Broad Street, which beat Simmons 71-34.