By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Tupelo Lady Wave had a tall task facing them Friday night – a matchup against the No. 1 Southaven Lady Chargers.
Against the taller Lady Chargers, Tupelo’s underclassmen got a good lesson in Class 6A basketball, falling to the Clarion Ledger’s top-ranked team, 56-38.
“I’m not upset, I think we were in the ball game against the No. 1 team in the state,” Tupelo Lady Wave head coach Matt Justice said. “In a game against a team this good, the little mistakes you make, they make you pay for them.
“But I liked our effort.”
In a contest perhaps closer than the score indicated, the Lady Wave (7-4) tried giving as good as they got, reeling off a 6-0 run to pull within 17-14 early in the second quarter. The spurt included a pair of baskets by Asia Partlow.
Tupelo then survived the first half within shouting distance of Southaven (10-0), trailing 27-19. But the visitors then burst out of the locker room with a 9-0 run, with three Queen Hayes baskets helping the Lady Chargers to a 39-21 lead.
The margin did not fluctuate much after that, with Tupelo pulling within 12 points twice in the fourth quarter.
“Tupelo did a good job, stopped some things we like to do,” said Southaven Lady Chargers head coach David Baldwin, a former West Union coach. “Our defense is usually pretty good, and got the game going at our tempo.”
Hayes paced the Southaven offense with 17, while Casey Marshall scored 10 for Tupelo.
(B) Southaven 54, Tupelo 53: The Wave saw a basket with 21 seconds left in the contest by Rashad Dixon be the difference in the contest in favor of Southaven.
Terance Davis led Southaven with 14, and J. J. Ashby hit 18 for Tupelo (6-6). The Chargers led 32-27 at the half.