By Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel
RIPLEY – Four Ripley Lady Tigers scored in double figures Thursday, and the Journal’s top-ranked girls team moved to within one win of their fourth straight trip to the Big House.
Ripley beat Mooreville 68-48 in the MHSAA Class 3A North Mississippi quarterfinals.
Senior guard Jayla Chills scored 20 points, Matavia Cox and Daisha Colom added 13 each and Zaida Cox chipped in 10 for Ripley at the RHS Event Center.
Ripley (28-4) faces Ruleville tonight at 6 in a semifinal.
“I thought we played good in spurts and went with the game plan, and sometimes we didn’t,” said Ripley coach Katie Bates. “I thought we boxed out well, got some turnovers and got some easy baskets, but not one of our best games.”
Mooreville got as close as 13-10 on back-to-back buckets early in the first quarter, but Chills sank a left corner 3-pointer to lead 16-10 at the end of one. She had 10 points in the quarter.
The Lady Tigers led 38-22 by the break, thanks to nine points of the bench from Matavia Cox. The junior hit a pair of right baseline jumpers to make it 23-13. Her third bucket made it 27-15.
Mooreville got no closer than 12 points in the second half. Ripley led 47-33 after three and pushed the lead to 53-35 on four consecutive free throws by Colom and Zaida Cox with 6:11 to play. Colom added 10 rebounds.
Mooreville was led by Savannah Webb’s 16 points. Katelyn Keith scored 13, and eighth-grader Meagan Edmonds added 11.
Mooreville coach Kala Parker thought her team left it all on the floor and showed some nervousness in their first appearance in a North Tournament game.
“Considering this is our first time, I knew there would be some jitters. I think we gave all that we could.” said Parker. “We missed a lot free throws, and I think nerves had something to do with it. Ripley’s well-rounded. They know what it takes to win the big games.”