By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – On the heels of a three-game losing streak, Tupelo Lady Wave head coach Matt Justice was pleased to see his young squad battle through to a win Friday.
The Lady Wave grabbed an early lead and made that advantage stand up with a 64-51 victory over the Lafayette Sailorettes.
“We’ve played some really tough teams, and there were some things we could learn from those games,” Justice said. “The girls came out tonight and played really hard, but there are still some things to clean up before we hit division play.”
With freshman Jaleigha Polk providing two field goals, the Lady Wave (7-3) sprung to an early 9-0 lead. Senior point guard Antoinette Riddle then scored nine points the remainder of the quarter as Tupelo claimed a 21-11 margin.
Lafayette (3-4) kept hustling, eventually pulling within 34-30 with 4 minutes, 55 seconds left in the third quarter on a Mykira Buford basket. But in the next two minutes, Tupelo responded with an 8-0 run powered by points from Casey Marshall and Faith Cook.
Tupelo never allowed Lafayette to sniff the lead after that.
“In the beginning, we moved the ball well on offense, like we wanted,” Justice said. “The biggest thing is that we have be able to finish.
“We’ve been missing layups, but we finished better at the basket tonight.”
Riddle paced the Tupelo offense with 20 points, with Polk adding 19. Tiffany Ragsdale led Lafayette with 15.
(B) Tupelo 60, Lafayette 37: The Golden Wave (5-4) ripped off a 12-0 run in the first quarter, and never looked back in the season-opener for the Commodores (0-1).
Rashon Coleman pace the balanced Tupelo offense with 14, while Tevin Buford and Jeremiah Jones each scored 11 for Lafayette.