By Scotty Nichols
FULTON – The Pontotoc Lady Warriors and the Itawamba AHS Lady Indians have developed an intense but somewhat strange rivalry over the past few seasons.
Pontotoc has a lead in the recent series, yet the Lady Indians captured the 2014 Class 4A state championship, without picking up a win over the Lady Warriors in three tries.
Thursday night’s Division 1-4A semifinal matchup at the ICC Davis Event Center didn’t disappoint, either, as Pontotoc held on to win 38-33 and reach the championship.
IAHS clawed its way back into the game when Elisabeth Cleveland knocked down a pair of big shots to pull them to within one point.
Jatyjia Jones iced the game with a pair of free throws with just 11 seconds to go.
Pontotoc’s Mackenzie Lane finished with a game-high 16 points. Jones finished with 15.
Cleveland and Alondra Gordon each scored 10 in the loss.
(B) Shannon 77, Pontotoc 55: The Red Raiders avenged last season’s semifinal loss in convincing fashion.
Pontotoc held Shannon’s CJ Brim to 13 points, but teammate Rance Champ poured in a game-high 33 points, including four 3-pointers, and went a perfect 13 of 13 from the free throw line.
Isaiah Miller led Pontotoc with 18 points, followed by 17 from Ty Jones.
(G) Amory 50, Corinth 39: The second-seeded Lady Panthers got 14 points from Kaleigh Wren and made sure that there would be no repeat champion.
Corinth’s Kristen Herman scored a game-high 19 points.
(B) Corinth 70, Tishomingo County 41: The reigning Class 4A state champions made light work of the Braves to cruise into the championship contest as Axavius Stricklen scored a game-high 22-points.
Corinth held Caleb McCalmon, who erupted for 32 points in the Braves’ opening-round win over IAHS, to just 12 points.