By Gene Phelps | NEMS Daily Journal
ECRU – Saturday’s North Pontotoc Wallzappers Girls Classic nearly lived up to its sponsor’s name … at the expense of undefeated Pontotoc.
The Lady Warriors, however, used a strong fourth quarter to beat determined Lafayette 51-43 and avoid getting zapped.
Pontotoc (21-0) was led by guard Quinndella Ford, who scored a game-high 24 points, and post player LaNikki McMillian, who tallied nine of 15 points in the crucial final period.
“Lafayette played hard; they got after us,” Pontotoc coach Bill Russell said. “We played a tough division game last night at Tishomingo County (77-60 win). I thought we played dead-legged today.”
Lafayette (8-9) led the Lady Warriors 23-22 at halftime and trailed only 39-38 after the third quarter. Pontotoc, behind McMillian, took control in the final quarter, holding the Lady Commodores to five points.
“We expected Ford to get her points,” Lafayette coach Amy Sutton said. “You’re not going to stop her. She’s a beast. I thought we did a good job covering their perimeter shooters.”
Pontotoc recorded only two 3-pointers – one in each half – from Kayla Russell and Anna Rosenbaum.
“We struggled offensively,” Bill Russell said. “Lafayette played hard and got after us. Our defensive intensity wasn’t there in the first half.
“We did a better job defensively in the second half.”
Belmont rolls on
Belmont (20-3) won its 15th straight game beating New Albany and its scoring machine, Jazmine Spears, 66-46.
Spears, a junior for the defending 4A state champions, scored 31 points for the Lady Bulldogs (9-10). The Lady Cardinals were led by forward Angelia Allen with 25 – 16 in the second half – and Kelsie Montgomery with 14.
“I was mad at myself; I couldn’t hit anything in the first half,” Allen said of her motivation in the second half.
Belmont led only 28-27 at halftime, but outscored the Lady Bulldogs 22-6 in the third to take a commanding lead.
“We did a better job executing on the offensive end in the second half,” Belmont coach Chris Higginbottom said. “However, I thought the key in the second half was our defense.”