By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
FULTON – A hot-shooting Shannon team surprised Corinth at first, but it didn’t take long for the Warriors to wake up.
Corinth (23-6) rallied in the second half to beat division rival Shannon 68-57 in the Division 1-4A boys’ basketball championship game.
“We picked our intensity on defense in the third quarter. They came out of the gates hot,” Corinth coach Keith Greene said. “We knew we had to find a way to slow them down just enough.”
Shannon (20-8) opened up a 20-13 lead near the end of the first quarter. Raheem Sorrell dropped in a basket midway through the second to give the Warriors a brief lead, before Rocquis Coleman’s three-point play put Shannon back on top.
Corinth opened up the third quarter with a 7-0 run to lead by 6. Chris Bradley added a basket for Shannon’s first points of the half, but Corinth responded with another five straight, including a 3-pointer from Jose Contreras.
A 4-0 start to the fourth left the Red Raiders down by three, but that would be as close as they came as Corinth hit six straight free throws to close the game.
Sorrell led Corinth with 20 points, while Lakee Westbrook scored a game-high 21 for Shannon.
“We know each other well, and we knew it was going to be tough,” Shannon coach Cedric Brim said. “We’re shooting for meeting them again next week in North half.”
(G) Pontotoc 57, Itawamba AHS 49: Itawamba led by as many as eight in the first half, before Marlee Hatcher and Olivia Owen each scored to give Pontotoc a 24-23 halftime lead. Hatcher’s basket broke up a 27-all tie near the beginning of the third quarter.
Lanikki McMillian led Pontotoc with 18 points, while Itawamba’s Kim Mallory led all scorers with 19 points.
Mallory’s layup brought the Lady Indians within five midway through the fourth before Pontotoc scored four straight to extend the lead.