By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Golden Wave served up head coach Jeff Norwood’s first Division 2-6A victory Tuesday on a gold plate.
The Wave responded from a division loss last week with a solid 69-38 decision over the South Panola Tigers.
“You take wins whenever you can get them,” said Norwood, Tupelo’s first year head coach. “Early on, we really shared the ball well, and played together, and we don’t do that enough”
Early on, the game was a typically tight Class 6A pairing, with Tupelo (10-8, 1-1) only leading 13-10 after the first quarter. But the Wave had a decisive run to drop on the visitors.
The last half of the second quarter, the Wave closed the period with a 17-0 run, beginning with a pair of field goals by senior Jordan Garmon. Sophomore Antonio Green bagged eight points in the spurt, and a hustling tip in by junior Brice Ford in the closing seconds of the half gave the Wave a 31-13 lead.
“They played a 1-3-1 zone, and we had to help each other,” Norwood said. “And we had a good defensive plan, and executed it.”
The defense did aid in Tupelo outscoring South Panola (9-4, 0-1) 18-3 in the decisive second quarter. The Wave extended that run by scoring the first five points of the second half to a 22-0 spurt.
Green led a balanced Tupelo offense with 11 points.
(G) Tupelo 66, South Panola 32: The Lady Wave (11-7, 1-1) gradually wore down the Lady Tigers.
With Sophomore Jaleighia Polk hitting two baskets, Tupelo jumped to an 11-0 margin before closing the first quarter with a 15-6 lead. Two fast-break baskets by Casey Marshall jump-started Tupelo in the second quarter, helping the team pull away.
“I don’t think we played as well as we could have, we were not as sharp,” Tupelo head coach Matt Justice said. “We missed too many layups and free throws.”
Marshall paced Tupelo with 19.
Both Tupelo teams continue division play Friday at Grenada.