OXFORD- Pontotoc's basketball teams split a road trip to Lafayette last Tuesday. The Lady Warriors fell in a tightly contested matchup that featured two of the area's top girls teams, while the Warriors grabbed a key 20-point road win.

(G) Lafayette 61, Pontotoc 54

Azariah Buford and her Lafayette Lady Commodores redeemed themselves. The Daily Journal’s No. 2-ranked team at the time defeated No. 1 Pontotoc, 61-54, in a game that had the feel of a February playoff tilt.

Buford scored 23 points, which is 22 more than she scored last season when Pontotoc trucked Lafayette, 64-40, in what was also a 1-2 showdown.

She was 0 for 11 from the field in that loss. This time around, Buford made her first six shots as Lafayette raced to an early lead.

After stumbling out of the gate, Pontotoc recovered and kept the game tight throughout. The Lady Warriors finally gained their first lead with 5:21 to go in the fourth quarter, when a Sky Vaughn layup made it 47-45.

That capped a 10-0 run, but Lafayette responded with a 9-2 run.

“They came out and punched us in the mouth early,” Pontotoc coach Kyle Heard said. “We fought back and fought back, but we never really got in the fight all the way.”

Samya Brooks had a huge game for Pontotoc, scoring 29 points, including 21 in the first half. She got several buckets in the first half after Pontotoc beat Lafayette’s press, so the Lady Commodores pulled back after halftime.

“I felt we were comfortable with it, and we played really well in the half court,” Lafayette coach Shayne Linzy said.

Kimaya Dixon had 23 points and six steals for Lafayette.

Three-pointers

Turning Point: With the game tied at 49-49, Lafayette got a bucket and two free throws from Dixon, plus a Molly Jones 3-pointer to go up 56-49.

Point Maker: Brooks shot 14 of 25 from the floor and also grabbed 12 rebounds.

Talking Point: “Like coach Linzy said, there’s no other team like Pontotoc. So this prepares us for the playoffs and division.” – Azariah Buford

(B) Pontotoc 67, Lafayette 47

The Warriors jumped on top in what was a tight game early by outscoring the Dores 20-8 in the second quarter to open up a 16-point lead at the half.

Joe Haze Austin scored 13 to lead Pontotoc. Jaylen Edwards and Rock Robinson also were in double figures for the Warriors, with each recording 11 points. J.C. Dennis had 19 points for Lafayette.

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