FULTON- Despite a valiant effort, the South Pontotoc Lady Cougars could not finish out a come-from-behind road victory against Itawamba AHS last Tuesday, falling to the Lady Indians 54-48.
South grabbed the early 2-0 lead after a pair of free throws from Maisy Canerdy, but Itawamba AHS outscored the Lady Cougars 20-4 over the remainder of the first quarter, hitting three 3-pointers and capitalizing on forced turnovers and offensive rebounds.
The Lady Indians went up as much as 27-7 early in the second quarter after a layup by Emma Hutton, but South finished the first half on a big run to get back in the game, led by a offensive flurry by Maisy Canerdy. Canerdy crashed the offensive glass on a missed free throw and was fouled, making both shots. Sydney Brazil then drained a 3-pointer to make it 27-12. Canerdy then scored the final 10 points of the half over the final 3:37 on a putback, three buckets in the paint and a pair of free throws. The Lady Cougars went to the locker room only trailing 27-22.
Canerdy also posted the first four points of the second half to pull South within one, but Itawamba responded to increase the lead to seven two times over the rest of the third quarter. Late in the period Canerdy scored twice on the low block, and Brazil banked in a runner to cut it to 38-37. The Lady Indians' Genise Dabbs came up with a loose ball and made a layup to send Itawamba into the fourth quarter with a 40-37 lead.
Brazil made two straight 3-pointers to open the final quarter, putting South ahead 43-40. Itawamba AHS answered to tie it up at 43-all, and Nyresha Mallory hit two free throws after an offensive rebound to give the Lady Indians the lead 45-43. Brazil drove the lane and dished the ball out to Rebekah Pilcher for a 3-pointer and a 46-45 Lady Cougars lead with 2:09 to play.
Zakiyah Adams drove for a layup to make it 47-46 in favor of the Lady Indians with 1:34 to play, and Itawamba added another basket on their next possession to increase the lead to 49-46. Pilcher drove the lane for two to pull the Lady Cougars within 49-48 with 59 seconds to play. Delia Shumpert got to the foul line and increased the lead to 50-48, but Itawamba came up with a critical offensive board on the missed second shot, leading to Adams going back to the free throw line and making both for a 4-point lead with 36 seconds to play. The Lady Indians added a pair of free throws from Dabbs to close out the game.
(B) Itawamba AHS 64, South Pontotoc 42
The Indians got off to a good start, scoring the first seven points and building a 10-point lead in the first. Trailing 14-6 after one quarter, a trio 3-pointers from Skylar Holloway, Stroud Mills and Trace Ash in the second quarter helped the Cougars stay in the game. Will Reeves got the foul line and hit both in the final minute to pull South within 30-21 at the half.
Strong third quarter play from seniors Alex Collins and Will Reeves allowed South to within striking distance, 45-35, headed into the fourth, but the Indians finally grabbed the momentum for good and stretched the lead out the final period, outscoring the Cougars 19-7.