Lady Tigers stun Byhalia, move to 4A title game

Jackson- Back on January 20th, Ripley traveled to Byhalia for a Div. 2-4A matchup. Byhalia had their way with the Lady Tigers beating Ripley 68-44, a 24-point margin. But when teams are playing in the state tournament, old scores are never remembered only the current score matters and that is exactly how the Lady Tigers handled it.

Ripley had a great first quarter jumping out to a 17-11 lead by the quarter’s end. Both teams had a slow quarter in the second only scoring seven points apiece allowing Ripley to maintain a 6-point lead at the half, 24-18.

In the third, Byhalia’s pressure was too much for Ripley as several turnovers turned to easy baskets for the Lady Indians and they took their first lead of the game since they were up 1-0 to start the game.

Like many games, the fourth quarter proved to be crucial.

Montara Crum hit two free-throws to give Ripley a 1-point lead. Byhalia then went on a quick 5-0 run. Dayzsha Rogan drills two shots to tie the game at 38. Under two minutes left, Byhalia took a 40-38 lead. After starting the game 0-for-3 from three, Summer Kirkman provided the biggest shot of the day with a 3-pointer with 1:35 left to take a 41-40 lead. Rogan followed with four more points to put Byhalia away.

“I kept telling her all game that she was going to step up, it is going to happen so just keep pulling the trigger.” Coach Willey said on Kirkman’s three. “That’s the loudest three in Mississippi tonight, and it was loud for us.”

Ripley won 45-43 and will advance to the 4A state title game against another Div. 2-4A foe in Lafayette. Lafayette won the previous two matchups 69-31 and 57-38. Ripley has proved those scores do not matter to them and they are ready to compete for a state championship.

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