Physical play no problem for Ripley

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – Ripley’s game against Southeast Lauderdale was plenty physical, but that’s the way the Lady Tigers like it.
“We like physical play and we foul a lot,” Ripley coach Katie Bates said. “I thought (SE Lauderdale) handled it better than a lot of teams we played this year.”
Ripley’s pressure forced 26 turnovers and almost got the Tigers back in the game.
“Ripley plays outstanding man defense,” SE Lauderdale coach Joe Miller said. “We had too many turnovers today.”
Booneville’s Kenny Paul Geno, New Albany’s Jazmine Spears, Ripley’s Jayla Chills, New Site’s Christy Clark and Oxford’s Alexus Malone have been selected to play in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Games March 15 in Montgomery, Ala.
Pontotoc’s Bill Russell will be the head coach for the Mississippi girls.
The girls players selected for the July 12 North/South All-Star Game for rising seniors are: Alontra Tucker, Ashland; Kim Mallory, IAHS and Kayla Russell, Pontotoc. Oxford’s Shayne Linzy is the coach.
The boys players selected are: Daniel Simmons, Biggersville; Jack Nichols, Booneville; Raheem Sorrel, Corinth and Marcus Greer, North Pontotoc. Booneville’s Michael Smith is the coach.
The games will be played at Mississippi College.
Potts Camp’s successful run ended Saturday in the state semifinals with a 58-43 loss to Scott Central and high-scoring Victoria Vivians.
It all started early in the season with a win against defending 3A state champion Ripley.
“We enjoyed sneaking in and not being part of the (preseason) hype,” Potts Camp coach Tana Miller said. “We set this goal and knew we could do it.”
The trip to the Mississippi Coliseum was the first for the Lady Cardinals since 1995.
Scott Central’s Vivians has the green light from her coach, Chad Harrison, to shoot at any time and at any place on the court.
When you average 40 points per game, you earn that honor. Still, Harrison has a few rules.
“I’ll let her do an x-amount of crazy things early,” he said, alluding to her 25-30-foot jumper attempts. “Some nights they all go in. If they don’t, I tell her to start going to the basket.
“You don’t coach this,” he added, then smiled at his star. “She’s a special, gifted player.”

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