Ewing, a guard, came off the bench to score 17 of his 19 points during the final 16 minutes while the 6-foot-4 Hadley, a post player, added 15 of his game-high 23 to lead the Golden Wave to a 68-44 win.
“Ewing has a knack for scoring,” Tupelo coach Grant Pate said. “He can shoot the jumper or he can get to the basket. He’s become a good offensive player.”
Pontotoc had cut Tupelo’s lead to 36-34 early in the third period when Ewing went to work. First, he sank three 3-pointers, then capped his spurt with a baseline drive for a layup that gave the Wave a 52-42 advantage headed to the fourth period.
“I thought that’s when the game turned,” Pontotoc coach Jon Ginn said of Ewing’s third-period offensive production. “When Ewing hit the 3s we didn’t respond.”
Along with leading Tupelo in scoring, Hadley was also strong in the paint and finished with 10 rebounds.
“He did a great job on the boards,” Pate said. “Offensively, we were able to get the ball inside to him and he finished.”
Tupelo, which travels to Oxford for another non-division game Friday, improved to 6-2 overall.
Pontotoc, which saw its record dip to 4-3, was led by Josh Green with 14 points. However, the Warriors’ big gun was held to two points in the second half.
“We knew Green was a really good player,” Pate said. “We put athletic guys on him – Jeremy Foster and Chris Brooks.”
Tupelo’s defensive pressure the entire second half was even more evident in the final period. The Warriors scored just two fourth-period points, a pair of free throws by Andrew Bell.
“The locked us down in the fourth quarter,” Ginn said. “We had to take a few desperate shots. They’ve got a great team, a deep team.”
For Pontotoc, Shaq Crayton added 12 points.
(G) Tupelo 65, Pontotoc 53
Katherine Downing’s 3-pointer with 5 minutes, 18 seconds remaining in the third period gave Pontotoc a 30-30 tie with Tupelo.
The Lady Wave responded with fury. Amber Jackson scored back-to-back field goals, Aftan Goree followed with two 3-pointers, and Antoinette Riddle came off the bench to hit a 3-pointer and grab a steal and layup.
By the time the period ended, the Lady Wave (6-2) led 52-39.
Pontotoc (5-1) cut Tupelo’s lead to six points early in the final period, but got no closer.
“Tupelo’s a big, strong, physical team,” Pontotoc coach Bill Russell said. “I was proud of the way we battled. They fought the whole way. We’re young and we’ll get better.
“You don’t mind if you lose if you fight the while game.”
Jackson paced Tupelo with 20 points and Goree, who hit four 3-pointers, added 16. Rhandi Bell scored 16 and Ebony Brinker 15 for Pontotoc.