By David Wheeler
Special to the Journal
TUPELO – Things worked out nicely for the Tupelo Lady Wave basketball team in their season opener on Tuesday.
Experienced players got quality minutes early.
Inexperienced players got needed game time.
And the Tupelo girls got the victory, downing the West Point Lady Wave 64-24.
“We came out and tried to set the tone early,” Tupelo head coach Matt Justice said. “We came out with the fire I was expecting, and came out with energy.
“We left a few point on the floor, and could have executed better on defense.”
With its experienced core of juniors, the Tupelo girls began the contest on a 10-0 run, powered by a pair of Braxton Thomas baskets. Tupelo eventually moved to a 27-10 lead by the end of the period.
Tupelo surged again in the second quarter with a 15-0 run, with three baskets by freshman Alayjah Sherer, moving to a 42-13 lead. Tupelo went to the intermission leading 46-18.
“Getting that playing time was big for us,” Justice said. “We got four or five on the floor that we needed to.”
Tupelo saw Thomas head the offensive output with 21 points, with Bre Jernigan adding 15 and Jaleigha Polk 13.
(B) West Point 66, Tupelo 65: A second-half comeback by the Tupelo boys was thrawted by a Juan Davis tip-in for West Point with 7 seconds remaining.
Tupelo trailed 32-25 at the half, and as late as 59-45 in the fourth quarter.
Tre Long for Tupelo scored the team’s final three field goals, the last coming with 25 seconds to play, pushing Tupelo ahead 65-64.
Tre Williams paced West Point with 17, with Tupelo’s Antonio Green scoring 21 to lead the home team.