By GENE PHELPS
JACKSON - West Lincoln's best defense against Myrtle's 6-foot scoring and rebounding machine Aspriona Gilbert was a cinnamon roll.
Actually, the lack of one.
Gilbert scored a sweet 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, all in the first half Friday, to lead Myrtle to a convincing 57-30 victory against the South Mississippi entry in the semifinals of the MHSAA Class 1A girls state tournament.
Gilbert, who skipped breakfast at the team motel, felt nauseated at the start of the second half and played only a few minutes.
"She got excited this morning and got sidetracked," Myrtle coach Chris Greer said. "She went to a friend's room and didn't eat breakfast."
The Lady Hawks (21-15) didn't need her help in the final 16 minutes anyway.
Myrtle outscored West Lincoln 23-4 in the second quarter and led 37-16 at halftime. A 14-4 Myrtle third quarter gave the North champions a 51-20 lead.
Gilbert, who spent much of the second half drinking Gatorade, just smiled when asked why she didn't eat breakfast.
"I got dizzy," she said. "It feels good to be back here in Jackson. I'm happy we made it to the next level (championship game)."
Myrtle advanced to the state championship game against McAdams at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Mississippi Coliseum.
Keanna Cox scored 11 points and Halle Knowles 8 for the Hawks while Tati Marshall scored 12 and Hannah Knouse 10 for West Lincoln (21-11).
n Box score, Page 2B