By Adam Gore/GoreSports.net
HOUSTON – Ebony Brinker had 27 points and Pontotoc pulled away in the end to defeat Houston 56-51 Monday night in a Class 4A North Mississippi tournament opener.
Chancedy Pulliam had 19 points for the Houston Lady Hilltoppers (22-5), who trailed 51-48 with 52.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter before seeing Pontotoc (22-5) go 3 of 5 from the free throw line to put the game out of reach.
“Winning on the road on Monday night is one of the toughest games to win and we were fortunate enough to get it. It was a total team effort tonight,” said Pontotoc coach Bill Russell.
Tori Nichols added 11 points and Jasmine Pierce had 10 for Houston, who was without leading scoring Ty-Nita Baker.
Rhandi Ball scored 16 points for the Lady Warriors.
Pontotoc advances to play Yazoo County 5:30 p.m. on Thursday at New Albany.
– New Site 80, O’Bannon 47: The strong inside-outside scoring attack of guard/forward Krystal Jackson and post Darrah Pharr led the Lady Royals in their 2A opener. New Site (27-1) led 46-18 at the half. The Lady Royals will host the North quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, starting Thursday.
– H.W. Byers 63, Coffeeville 48: Last year’s 2A state champions opened their run for a 1A state title with a solid home win.
Courtney Coleman scored 26 points and Alexis Hollaway added 23 for Byers (25-6).
– Wheeler 62, Vardaman 50:Courtney Roberts scored 15 and Brooke Jones added 14 to lead Wheeler (20-9) in a 1A home opener.