By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
SHANNON – With significant losses to graduation the past two seasons, the Tupelo Golden Wave are playing through the search for themselves.
Nothing like a little senior leadership to nudge the team in the right direction.
The most experienced player on the roster, senior Jordan Garmon, made a basket and calmly drained four free throws in the final two minutes Tuesday night to help the Wave past rival Shannon 55-52.
“This was a big win for us because we’re still growing,” first-year Tupelo head coach Jeff Norwood said. “We played well for the biggest part of the game, but the hardest thing for a young team to do is play with a 10- to 12-point lead on the road.”
In front of a packed house, Tupelo (3-2) was playing in the fourth quarter with a 48-37 lead after an Alex Norwood 3-pointer. Shannon (2-1) then controlled play for the next five minutes.
The Raiders went on an 11-0 run, which included baskets by Lakee Westbrook, Zavier Jones, and Rocquis Coleman.
And with 2 minutes, 14 seconds to play, Coleman drained a pair of free throws to tie the contest at 48-48.
“In the first half, we got a little down not making shots, and it affected our defense,” Shannon head coach Cedric Brim said. “In the second half, our defensive intensity got better.”
After a free throw by Tupelo’s Alex Foster, Westbrook bagged a shot from the lane with 1:38 left to give the Raiders a 50-49 edge.
But Garmon settled things down for the Wave. The senior hit a shot from the baseline with 1:23 left, then calmly hit four straight free throws to ice the win.
Garmon paced Tupelo with 10 points, and Westbrook led the Raiders with 18.
(G) Tupelo 60, Shannon 43: After a slow first quarter, the Lady Wave (4-1) forged ahead behind the leadership of senior Casey Marshall.
Tupelo used a 14-4 second period to take a 27-24 halftime lead, which was never challenged. Marshall paced Tupelo with 19.