Despite the eventual outcome, the first 10 minutes of the contest saw IAHS struggle with turnovers and missed shots, while Quin Agnew and Alexandrea Metcalf led the aggressive Lady Red Raiders to a 20-13 second quarter lead.
“We just got off to a slow start,” IAHS coach Amanda Morrow said. “(Shannon) came out really explosive from the get-go and kind of caught us off guard a little bit. Shannon plays hard whenever they play but for whatever reason it seemed like we were a step behind on every play.”
The Lady Indians (18-8) struggled early with the defensive pressure of Shannon (11-7), but began to hit their stride before halftime with a couple of Kim Mallory baskets in the paint.
A Haley Gates 3-pointer with les than three minutes to play gave IAHS a lead that swelled to a 34-28 advantage at the break.
“In the second quarter, I think we began to get our momentum going,” Morrow said. “We started to get into a rhythm on offense and defense...We had good momentum going into halftime and we just kind of continued it on after that.”
Led by 3s from Mallory and Gates, IAHS embarked on a 10-2 run to begin the second half.
Agnew, who led Shannon with 18 points, tried to keep her team in it.
Mallory added 17 points for Itawamba AHS.
Finishing The Job
Although the victory wasn’t pretty, it gives the Lady Indians the opportunity to play for the division title on Friday as well as host the first round of next week’s North tournament.
“This is exactly where we want to be,” Morrow said. “This was no doubt a big game for us. We have had goals all year and the division championship is one of those goals...Now we just have to go out and finish.”