Lady Warriors roll to division crown

basketball_icon_greenBy Jay Tidwell

Special to the Journal

FULTON – Devin Hill and his Itawamba AHS Lady Indians have been clawing at the heals of Pontotoc all year.

After a pair of single-digit losses to the Lady Warriors during the regular season, Hill’s crew had an opportunity to redeem themselves in Friday’s Division 1-4A girls’ championship at the Davis Event Center at ICC.

But not much went the Lady Indians’ way.

Olivia Owen scored a game-high 17 points and Alex Brown followed with 14 for Pontotoc, as the Lady Warriors breezed to a 64-36 win to clinch the division title.

“It seemed like everything we did, they did better,” said Hill, whose team lost by three (66-63) on Jan. 17 and seven (42-35) on Feb. 4. “To beat them, you have to do everything right, and tonight we didn’t do a whole lot right.”

Pontotoc (25-4) opened up a double-digit lead during the second period and held it through the second half.

A 3-pointer by Brown off an assist from Owen with 2 minutes, 21 seconds remaining in the first half put Pontotoc ahead by 11 (32-21).

Itawamba AHS (23-8) trailed 38-23 at intermission and was unable to rally.

“We followed our game plan and had one of the best games we’ve played all year,” said Pontotoc’s Kayla Russell, a senior. “It just feels good winning the championship. It doesn’t matter who it is.”

Sophomore Tori Mallory led the Lady Indians with 12 points.

Focus on state

“We executed well offensively, and got a pretty good lead,” said Pontotoc coach Bill Russell. “Winning the division tournament is not our main objective, though. We want to be able to play and advance and move on. This is just icing on the cake.”

(B) Pontotoc 74, Itawamba AHS 55: Pontotoc (20-10) went on a 13-0 run to end the third quarter and knocked off the Indians (5-26) in the boys’ consolation match.

Kaleb Barnes logged 17 points and Jacques Townsend tossed in 14 for the Warriors. Anthony Kennedy had 17 and Andrew McDonald added 16 for Itawamba AHS.