By David Wheeler/Special to the Journal
NEW ALBANY – Tupelo Lady Wave coach Matt Justice wanted his squad to respond in a positive way on Saturday following a heartbreaking one-point division loss.
Justice got his wish as the LadyWave dispatched the Lafayette Lady Commodores 61-41 at the Renasant Bank Girls Challenge.
“We used a lot of energy last night, so I knew we would not be as sharp,” said Justice, whose LadyWave lost 50-49 to Columbus on Friday. “The main thing is that we came in here and got a win.”
The Lady Wave (10-7) moved swiftly to the lead in the first quarter. A pair of baskets by senior Casey Marshall pushed Tupelo up 10-4, and a three-point play by Zierra Long helped the LadyWave to an 18-9 lead.
Lafayette (7-5) kept it close in the second quarter, with a Janae Westbrook rebound and basket with 2 seconds left in the half to cut the margin to 30-25.
But the Lady Wave got it together out of the locker room, beginning the third quarter on an 11-2 run. Sophomore Jaleighia Polk capped the effort with a layup in transition, and Tupelo held a 41-27 lead.
“We’re a young team, and limiting our turnovers and shot selection eludes us,” Lafayette head coach Amy Sutton said. “We hurt ourselves not moving our feet, then letting them get to the foul line.”
Polk scored 17 points for Tupelo, which plays its first Division 2-6A home game Tuesday against South Panola.
“We don’t want to forget the Columbus loss,” Justice said. “We want it to be the motivation for the rest of the season.”
(G) NEW ALBANY 85, VARDAMAN 32: Jasmine Spears tossed in 29 to help the Lady Bulldogs (10-4). New Albany led 43-16 at the half.
(G) PONTOTOC 86, ASHLAND 41: Marlee Hatcher’s 28 points paced the Lady Warriors, who led 46-15 at the half.