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Lady Rebels sneak by with 39-38 victory

LAUREN WOOD / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Adams County Christian School’s Nikki Worthey looks to pass while guarded by Central Private School’s Lauren West, left, and Alex Wicker during the Lady Rebels’ 39-38 win Thursday night during the ACCS Girl’s Tip-Off Tournament.

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Christian School girls were able to pull out a win despite being down an arm, leg and a firstborn.

The Lady Rebels were without guards Valarie Forman and Tori Laird and forward Skylar Adams Thursday night against Central Private School in the ACCS Girls Tip-off Tournament.

But ACCS still squeaked out a 39-38 win, and head coach Melanie Hall said she was just happy to overcome all the injuries.

“I been doing this a long time, and this is the first time almost all of my starting five are out,” Hall said.

After leading 33-22 at the end of three, Central Private came storming back to take a 34-32 with 2:59 left on a three-pointer by Alex Wicker. It was then that ACCS senior point guard Abby Givens decided to take over the game.

Givens scored five of the Lady Rebels’ final seven points to help ACCS hang on and get the one-point win. She drove to the basket twice and also tallied a free throw, in the final two-and-a-half minutes.

“None of our passes were getting there, and we weren’t hitting our outside shots anymore, so someone had to take control and drive to the basket,” Givens said.

The Lady Rebels led 15-14 at intermission. Hall said after building up a big third-quarter lead, her girls made a few mental mistakes that allowed Central Private to stay in striking distance.

“We did that to ourselves,” Hall said. “I give Central Private credit, because they were able to come back. There’s a lot we can take from that game that will help us get better.”

The injury issues weren’t limited to the players that were out. Nikki Worthey played most of the game with a calf strain before getting hurt late in the fourth quarter. Hall said afterward that she suffered a concussion.

Givens also played despite an injury of her own — she’s been fighting through a swollen knee but had to start because of so many injuries to other girls.

“It doesn’t feel good, but once the adrenaline starts going, you have to forget about it,” Givens said.

Givens led the Lady Rebels with 11 points, followed by Worthey with nine points Jordan Petty with six points. Central Private’s Alex Wicker tallied 14 points, and Lauren West scored 12 points.

Despite scoring five of the Lady Rebels’ first seven points, post player Ashleigh Williams sat out most of the second half. Hall said it was simply an issue of matchups, not an injury problem.

“With (Central Private’s) quickness and speed, we needed to go to man-to-man and needed more speed out there,” Hall said.

With the win, ACCS improved to 2-0 on the season, and Hall said her girls did what they had to do in order to win.

“I don’t think I did a good job tonight as a coach,” Hall said. “We will make adjustments. The silver lining is, if we can get everyone healthy, when we get to tournament time, we’ll be battle-tested.”

Givens, who switched to point from the shooting guard spot due to the injuries, said she it wasn’t easy getting the win Thursday.

“It takes heart and dedication, because it’s stressful switching positions,” Givens said.

The Lady Rebels will play in the Silliman Tournament starting next Monday.