TUPELO – For three quarters of Thursday’s contest with Corinth, Tupelo girls coach Stephanie Murphy was stalking the sidelines.
“Nothing was going right, and the intensity was not there,” Murphy said.
But the Lady Wave exploded for a 19-2 run to put away the Lady Warriors 53-32 in the final day of action in the Carlock Basketball Classic.
“We only took 15 shots in the first half,” Murphy said. “It was ugly, that’s the only way I can describe it.”
Despite Murphy’s appraisal, the Lady Wave are a sweet 3-0 on the young season. But the Lady Warriors (1-2) had intentions for three quarters of notching a win for themselves.
Two buzzer-beaters at the end of the first two periods – by Kierra Payne at the end of the first quarter, and by Kelsey Ford at the end of the second quarter – had the contest tied at 20-20 at the half. And entering the final period, Tupelo held a precarious 32-28 lead.
But then the Lady Wave began to roll.
Elise Friloux hit a 3-pointer to begin the quarter, and with a pair of Aftan Goree baskets, Tupelo was on a 9-0 run and holding a 41-28 lead. The Lady did not stop there as Goree and Amber Jackson each hit a pair of baskets during a 10-0 run that pushed Tupelo up 51-30.
“We finally picked up our intensity, which gave us the cushion to close out the game,” Murphy said. “It doesn’t feel like we’re 3-0 because we haven’t put together a solid game yet.”
Goree led Tupelo with 20.
(B)Tupelo 76, Corinth 71
The Golden Wave used a 10-0 run in the third quarter to gain a bit of an edge, then held off the Warriors in the nightcap.
“We were lethargic,” Tupelo coach Grant Pate said. “We finally found a group we could stay with, that got in a rhythm on offense.”
The lead see-sawed into the third quarter until a Romeo Johnson steal and dunk began a 10-0 Wave run that push their lead to 49-38. Corinth held firm, pulling within 71-64 with 1 minute, 6 seconds left on a Jarvis Patterson 3-pointer.
But free throws by Deontaye Ewing and a basket by Jeremy Foster helped to ice the win for Tupelo (2-1).
Ewing paced the Wave with 20 points, and Steven Polk bagged 23 to lead Corinth (1-2).
David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal