By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
MOOREVILLE – With some expectations of success entering the season, the Mooreville Troopers are trying to work their way up to those levels.
Behind a 30-point effort from senior Brandon Moore on Tuesday night, the Troopers worked their way to an 84-71 victory over the Pontotoc Warriors.
“This was not one of our better efforts, we were a little out of control at times,” Mooreville head coach Jeff Tally said. “We kept hustling, but we weren’t very smart.
“Kelsy Scott shot the ball pretty good, and Brandon Moore took the ball to the rim well.”
The Troopers (3-2) moved smartly in the first quarter, with Scott and Moore combining for 16 points in the period for a 21-12 lead.
Pontotoc (3-2) responded late in the second quarter, and with the first basket of the third period, Pontotoc had pulled within 35-31 following a 9-0 run and Kaleb Barnes basket.
Mooreville re-established its margin to close the third with a 7-0 run with baskets by Scott, Moore and Kelton Kingsley to head into the final period with a 56-43 advantage.
The Troopers were then able maintain a safe margin to close out the final eight minutes.
“I thought we could have executed better,” first year Pontotoc head coach Chris Vandiver said. “They hit some 3-pointers in the first half, we changed defenses, and they still hit some.
“And they hurt us on the boards, too, where I thought we had an advantage.”
Scott added 24 for Mooreville, while Anthony Townsend shot in 25 to lead Pontotoc.
(G) Pontotoc 65, Mooreville 29: The Lady Warriors dialed up mid-season intensity in the first half, using a 22-6 second quarter to grab a 41-16 lead.
“That was the best half we’ve played all year,” Pontotoc head coach Bill Russell said.
Kayla Russell paced Pontotoc with 23, while Katelyn Keith managed 10 for Mooreville.