TUPELO – The Nettleton Lady Tigers were on a comfortable pace through three quarters of play Monday.
But in the final period, the Tupelo Lady Wave tried to play catch-up.
The Lady Tigers barely survived the comeback bid, escaping with a 44-43 victory.
“They picked up the pressure on us, but we came through in the end,” first-year Nettleton coach Derrick Sharp said.
Nettleton (5-1) earned a comfortable lead through three quarters of play, beginning with a 9-0 run to start the second quarter for a 26-13 lead. That spurt was fueled offensively by a pair of baskets from star point guard Camry Jones.
The Lady Tigers were still holding a comfortable 36-24 advantage at the beginning of the final period, but the Lady Wave (4-3) discovered some intensity in its actions that made play interesting down the stretch. Tupelo pulled within 44-40 with 49 second to play on a Casey Marshall leaning bank shot.
Coming off the bench because of an injury, Elise Friloux hit one free throw with 11 second left. She missed the second, with teammate Chy Cunningham grabbing the rebound, then scoring from the lane with 7 seconds left.
Nettleton ran a couple of seconds off waiting to inbound the ball, then called a timeout. That set up a pass over the Tupelo defense that allowed Nettleton to run out the clock.
“We’re taking the positive away that we didn’t quit,” Tupelo coach Stephanie Murphy said. “We’ve just got to bring the effort we showed in the fourth quarter for all four quarters.”
Jones, facing a box-in-one for most of the contest, still scored 25 points to lead Nettleton. Faith Cook paced Tupelo with 16.
“Tupelo didn’t shoot the ball very good early, and Camry made some tough shots for us,” Sharp said.
(B) Tupelo 113, Nettleton 37
The Golden Wave defense was at a high-flying peak in this contest, setting up numerous fast-break points for its offense.
The Wave (5-2) moved out to a 26-7 first-quarter lead, then raced to a 63-26 halftime lead.
Deontaye Ewing led the Tupelo attack with 21 points, and Quinton Hankins managed 12 to lead Nettleton (2-4).
David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal