By David Wheeler/Special to the Journal
RIPLEY – Tupelo Golden Wave coach Jeff Norwood felt his squad still had more gears left than they were showing Saturday against the Ripley Tigers.
The Wave finally shifted into high gear in the second half, pulling away from the Tigers for a 65-48 victory.
“I felt like they had a lot more to give,” Norwood said. “Our good second-half play was more of a progression from last night.”
On Friday, Tupelo lost 54-53 to Southaven.
Ripley (10-2) was managing its halftime margin of 28-24 in the third period with a 33-29 lead following an Isiah Howard three-point play.
Tupelo takes over
Then Tupelo (7-6) flicked a switch and reeled off a 10-0 spurt, with four points by Sean Watkins, and capped by an Isaiah Traylor 3-pointer for a 39-33 lead.
In the final period, Jordan Garmon began a 15-0 run with a basket for a 46-41 lead. Watkins scored five points in the effort, and Garmon capped the run with a basket for a 59-41 Tupelo lead.
“We scratched and clawed for 21⁄2 quarters,” said Ripley head coach Grant Gardner, whose leading scorer Malik Pearson missed the game. “When Tupelo switched from a zone to a man-to-man defense, it put a lid on the basket for us.”
Watkins led Tupelo with 13 points, with Alex Foster adding 11. Deion Palmer led Ripley with 19.
(G) Ripley 72, Tupelo 58: With both squads coming off tough losses on Friday, the Lady Tigers responded best in this matchup.
Ripley (7-2) used an 8-0 run in the second quarter to gain a little breathing room at 33-24. Then a 9-0 run to close the third period pushed the Ripley margin to 58-44.
Jayla Chills tossed in an excellent 34 for Ripley, with Casey Marshall pacing Tupelo (7-4) with 16.