TISH. CO. GIRLS WIN OPENER
By Mike Talbert
JACKSON Tishomingo County’s Lady Braves played the school’s first Mississippi 4A girls tournament appearance like they had an allegry to lane paint.
Junior Christy Glidewell, with five 3-pointers and a career-high 28 points, and sophomore Amy Barnes rained in eight 3s on their end of the court. Also, the Lady Braves sprang a half-court trap a double-clawed bear trap to avoid the defensive lane by forcing 25 tournovers. The combination led to a successful debut for the Lady Braves, who beat Stone County 55-37.
There were very few first-game jitters.
“I wasn’t as nervous as I was excited,” said center Sylvia Powell, who was one of the sharpest teeth in the trap. “I like playing that half-court trap a lot more than the 2-3 zone.”
The trap got so vicious that in the third quarter, the Lady Braves (25-9) allowed only one shot as they turned a 27-24 halftime edge into a 40-25 lead while forcing 11 turnovers.
Actually, the Lady Tomcats shot twice, but the shooting foul that led to Stone County’s only point of the period on a Sharee Gordon free throw wiped the second shot off the official count. Gordon scored eight points in the fourth period to finish with a team-high 14.
Stone County’s Lady Tomcats (23-5) had the edge on speed and size inside. It showed, as Tishomingo went 8-of-11 outside the arc and was 9-of-34 inside.
“We couldn’t let their athletes get into a half-court game with us,” Tishomingo County coach Larry Johnson said. “I thought we did a better job of defending than they did attacking.”
Also Stone County was playing without 6-2 freshman Erica Thompson, who has had surgery for a knee injury suffered Friday.
Tishomingo County was dominant in the second half, but had to play from behind most of the first half.
The Lady Braves stayed in the game because Glidewell couldn’t miss outside as she scored 16 of the team’s first 19 points while hitting four 3-pointers.
“When I made the first field goal of the game, I got a little confidence,” Glidewell said. “When I hit 2 or 3 more I got a whole load of confidence.”
That confidence was catching.
“She’s my leader,” Brown, who scored 12 points, said. “When she started hitting, I knew I could too.”
Brown hit back-to-back 3s to give the Lady Braves the lead for good, 25-22, with two minutes left in the half.
“It was like they didn’t think we could hit outside the first half, but they didn’t let us shoot out there in the second,” Brown said.
The Lady Braves didn’t need the treys then as they turned turnovers into layups.
The Lady Braves next play South 4A champion George County (25-9) in a 7 p.m. Saturday semifinal game.