By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
PONTOTOC – The Pontotoc Lady Warriors and the New Albany Lady Bulldogs are the last two Class 4A state champions.
The current versions still pose a stern test, especially when matched against each other.
Using their basic formula of turning defense to offense, the Lady Warriors opened the second half with a 10-0 that helped to propel them to a 64-37 victory Tuesday over the Lady Bulldogs.
“We did a good job with our defense, especially in the second half,” Pontotoc (10-2)coach Bill Russell said. “We were getting the people in the press in the right spots that I wanted.
“We couldn’t let a team like New Albany get the ball up the court. Certainly Jasmine Spears is a dangerous player, and she does a lot for them, and I thought we did a good job keeping her off the offensive boards, perhaps the best we’ve ever done against her.”
Lanikki McMillian scored six points in the first quarter to aid Pontotoc in grabbing a 12-6 lead. Then in the second period, Anna Rosenbaum bagged two 3-pointers and another basket as Pontotoc edged ahead 34-22 at the half.
McMillian scored three straight field goals to open the third quarter and Pontotoc ran to a 44-22 advantage just over halfway through the period.
“We played pretty good defense, but you’ve got to score when you get in position,” New Albany coach John Stroud said. “Except for Jasmine, I think they were all pretty scared out there.”
McMillian led Pontotoc with 23 points, while Spears managed 17 to pace New Albany.
(B) New Albany 73, Pontotoc 62: The Bulldogs (6-3) used a 13-0 run in the third quarter to push into the lead at 46-40, an advantage they did not relinquish.
Jarel Lipsey paced New Albany with 18, while Marcus Reed led Pontotoc (6-6) with 21.