By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal
How is the appetite of the Northeast Lady Tigers for a second week of postseason basketball?
“These girls are hungry,” Northeast head coach Brian Alexander said. “These girls understand this is the week to make it all happen.”
The hungry Lady Tigers (14-11)open the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament at 12:30 p.m. today with a game against Gulf Coast at Mississippi College in Clinton. This will be a rematch of last week’s first-round game in the MACJC State Tournament, which Northeast won en route to a spot in the tournament’s title game.
The region championship game is Saturday, with the winner advancing to the national tournament.
“Realistically, Gulf Coast is the best team in the state,” said Alexander, whose Lady Tigers won the last week’s game 68-66. “We were able to defend them pretty good that game.
“It will interesting to see how the first six to eight minutes of this contest goes, to see how Gulf Coast has adjusted.”
On Feb. 25, Angelia Allen from Belmont and LaTonya Gadison each scored 15 points to lead Northeast to the victory. Allen leads the team in scoring at 15 points per game, followed by Gadison (11.5) and Antoinette Riddle (11.3).
Rematch for ICC
The Itawamba Lady Indians have a rematch of their own for a quarterfinal game in the tournament. The Lady Indians (16-9)square off against the Northwest Lady Rangers at 8 p.m., a team they’ve lost to twice this season.
Last week, the Lady Indians advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament, losing by one point to eventual champion Copiah-Lincoln.
“I think we had two of our best defensive games of the season last week,” ICC head coach Nanci Gray said. “We played with a lot of intensity, a lot of heart.
“We have to play with that same type of intensity defensively, and match the pressure of Northwest in order to advance.”
Ty-Nita Baker of Houston is leading the Lady Indians in scoring at 17.6 ppg. The Lady Rangers shot over 52 percent from the field in both wins, while ICC shot less than 33 percent.