By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
NETTLETON – Mooreville couldn’t land the knockout punch Thursday night, but the Troopers still took a decision.
Mooreville, ranked No. 8 in the area by the Daily Journal, defeated No. 9 Saltillo 57-45 in the semifinals of the Lee County Tournament. It was the Troopers’ third win against the Tigers this season.
“We have trouble finishing,” Mooreville coach Jeff Tally said. “Seems like we’re in control, then we get a little lackadaisical and let people back in.
“Saltillo showed a lot of determination after being down 17 at the half.”
Mooreville led 30-13 at halftime only to see the Tigers rally to cut the lead to 48-39 with 3 minutes, 42 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer by Reggie Miller.
That was a wake-up call for the Troopers, who reeled off three straight field goals, including a 3-pointer by Kelsey Scott for his team-high 14th point.
Scott’s basket was sandwiched between layups by guard Brandon Moore.
“When we get down we fight back,” Saltillo coach Craig Lauderdale said. “If we could have gotten a few more stops …
“We’re not playing team defense. We’ve got to get together, play as a team.”
A.J. Hunt scored 14 points to lead Saltillo (12-6) while Mooreville got 10 points from Javon Berry.
Mooreville (16-3) plays Shannon (14-4) at 8:30 p.m. today for the boys title.
Nettleton plays Shannon in the girls title game at 7. Two consolation games will be played, starting at 4.
(B) Shannon 70, Nettleton 38: Lakee Westbrook scored 15 and Rocquis Coleman 14 to lead the Red Raiders into the title game.
Nettleton’s Chris Long led all scorers with 16.
(G) Nettleton 50, Saltillo 41: Jabria Pounds scored 17 points to lead the host team into the finals. Saltillo’s Allie Moreland led all scorers with 21.
(G) Shannon 58, Mooreville 33: Quin Agnew scored 16, Tatyana Brownlee 14 and Shae Patterson 13 to lead the Lady Raiders.