By David Wheeler
Special to the Journal
TUPELO – Tupelo and Corinth have always had a healthy rivalry in basketball.
In both team’s regular-season finale on Friday, neither wanted to give an inch in a tightly contested affair.
The ball finally bounced in favor of Tupelo (17-9), who pulled out a 60-52 win. The Golden Wave will roll into the post season on the crest of three quality wins.
“I was pretty pleased with our effort, other than they were guarding us closer than we were them at one point,” Wave head coach Jeff Norwood said. “I want that to be our stamp, that we’re going to guard you like crazy.”
It was a back and forth contest through out, with Corinth (20-5) holding a 41-40 edge entering the fourth quarter.
Tupelo took a 45-43 lead following a 3-pointer by Antonio Green and a steal and basket from Tristan Upchurch. Corinth was back in front 50-47 after a layup by Kendall Stafford with 2:56 seconds to play.
An Isaiah Traylor layup pushed Tupelo back front, then the senior tipped in a missed free throw with 1:56 left to put the home team up 54-50.
A hustling Malik Douglas scored four points in the final 40 seconds to help seal the Tupelo win.
Green paced the Tupelo offense with 18 points. Desmin Harris tallied 20 to lead Corinth.
Tupelo hosts its division tournament, and will play South Panola on Tuesday. Corinth will start its postseason Thursday.
(G) Tupelo 60, Corinth 36: The Lady Wave (24-2) led 25-22 at the half, 43-29 after three, and opened the fourth quarter on a 15-0 run.
Junior Jaleigha Polk led the Lady Wave 16 points, while Aspen Stricklen hit 16 for Corinth.
The Lady Wave face Hernando Tuesday in semifinal division tournament action.