By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
NETTLETON – With a division-clinching game on the horizon, Tupelo coach Matt Justice saw what he needed out of his Lady Golden Wave in a 72-34 win over county rival Nettleton.
Tupelo (15-8) will play Grenada on Tuesday and can clinch Division 2-6A with a win.
“We played at our tempo tonight and ran the floor well,” Justice said. “We got off to a good defensive start and had to set the tone early. That’s what we wanted to do coming in because playing on the road is always hard.”
The Lady Wave held Nettleton (7-10) scoreless for the first 3:30 of the game before Meredith Lee sank a free throw to put the Lady Tigers on the board.
Nettleton closed out the third with a 6-0 run, including a basket right before the buzzer from Coco Whitfield. Tupelo responded with a 5-0 run of its own, and Jaleigh Polk’s 3 gave the Lady Wave a double-figure lead at 21-10. A two-point shot to end the half from Braxton Thomas gave Tupelo a 31-17 halftime lead.
Jayla Jones opened the third with a bucket, but Tupelo responded in the third with a 21-8 run.
“We had a tough time setting up and running our offense tonight,” Nettleton coach Shelley Parman said. “We’ve got to work on getting our offense back under control.”
Justice complimented his team’s performance defensively, especially in the second half.
“We played like we wanted to come here and win tonight,” Justice said. “Our girls played consistently for four quarters, and we played probably some of our best defensive ball.”
Thomas led all scorers with 18 points, while Jayla Jones led Nettleton with 9 points.
(B) Tupelo 75, Nettleton 47: The hosts closed to within four in the second quarter with a Chris Long basket before a 15-5 Tupelo run to end the half.
Isaiah Traylor led Tupelo with 12 points, while Brice Ford scored 11. Nettleton’s Chris Long led all scorers with 14 points, while Dre Sharp (13) and Demetrius Thomas (11) were also in double figures.