By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
SPRINGVILLE – A wet and muddy pitch caused by six inches of snow and rain last week could not slow down the Mills and Kitchens sisters of South Pontotoc.
The two sibling combinations were big contributors to a 9-0 victory over Forest in the first round of the MHSAA Class 1A/2A/3A playoffs.
Sophomore Mattie Mills scored three goals for a hat trick and seventh grader Judith Mills knocked in the game’s first goal off the left post in the 17th minute.
Anna Mills set up three of her younger sisters’ scores and had four assists total to help South Pontotoc (10-4) advance to the state quarterfinals at Choctaw Central.
“This is the first time that all three of us have been out here,” said senior Anna Mills, a Jones County signee. “It’s nice to get to play together and I like being able to watch them score and be a part of it.”
Tristan Kitchens sandwiched a nice goal in which she outraced Forest’s Lori Cox down the field between two Mattie Mills makes to help the Lady Cougars lead comfortably 4-0 at halftime.
Kitchens added a second goal in the 49th minute. Her sister, Breanna, made some nice hustle plays from center defender to anchor a defense that did not allow the Lady Bearcats (1-6) a shot on goal the entire contest.
“We’ve got several kids that could play at the next level,” said South Pontotoc coach Horace Kitchens. “I think people overlook us or underestimate us, but I think we can play with anybody if we’re playing.”
Kayleigh Sims, Shelbie Kidd and Heather Berry scored second half goals for the Lady Cougars.
(B) South Pontotoc 3, McLaurin 1: Dylan Johnson made the game’s opening goal 19 minutes in for the Tigers (3-8), but Matt Collums scored twice before halftime to put South Pontotoc up 2-1.
The Cougars (11-5), which travel to Southeast Lauderdale on Saturday, got some breathing room with a 44th minute goal by Cole Caples.