Girls Roundup: Cathedral girls get close win vs. St. Al

Published 12:01am Wednesday, February 19, 2014

BOGUE CHITTO — For the fourth time this season, the St. Aloysius Lady Flashes and the Cathedral Lady Green Wave met each other. Yet this game had a lot more meaning to it than the first three did.

And to no one’s surprise, it came down to the fourth quarter. St. Aloysius went into the final eight minutes holding a two-point lead, but Cathedral rose to the occasion on both ends of the court and ended up with a 48-42 win over its archrival in the first round of the MHSAA Division 7-1A Tournament at Bogue Chitto High School.

“We wanted it more than they did,” Cathedral head coach Randy Smith said. “We wanted to get to the playoffs for the second year in a row. That’s big for this program.”

The Lady Green Wave played the first quarter like it did at the end of the game jumping out to an 11-4 lead. But the Lady Flashes responded in a big way. Led by Alyssa Engel and Michelle Howington, they outscored the Lady Green Wave 17-10 in the second quarter to make it a 21-21 game at halftime and 14-12 in the third quarter for a 35-33 advantage. Engel led all scorers with 20 points and Howington added 11 points.

However, Cathedral would have an answer of its own when it mattered the most thanks to its defense and the offensive rebounding of Elizabeth Smith and Akua Kumi. The Lady Green Wave ended up outscoring the Lady Flashes 15-7 in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.

“The difference in the ball game was Elizabeth Smith and Akua Kumi. They took care of the offensive rebounds,” coach Smith said. “But it took a total team effort. We got up on them, and then we gave it back. They got up on us, and then they gave it back. It was an up-and-down game.”

Smith finished with 16 points while Kumi had 10 points and Mackenzie Wattscontributed in a big way with 14 points.

With the win, Cathedral (13-10) not only advances to play No. 1 seed Hinds Agricultural High School at 4 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals, but it also assures the Lady Green Wave a berth in the MHSAA Class 1A South State Playoffs.

Benton Academy girls 40,

Tensas Academy 29

LEARNED — An amazing 2013-2014 season for the Tensas Academy Lady Chiefs came to an end Tuesday afternoon in the first round of the MAIS Class A State Tournament at Rebul Academy as they lost to the Benton Academy Lady Raiders 40-29.

Tensas Academy head coach Nicky Pere’ said his team went into the game fielding mainly freshmen and sophomores playing in the state tournament for the first time. And it showed — especially at the free-throw line.

“We missed our shots at the end. We couldn’t make our foul shots,” Pere’ said. “Free throws are a big thing and you have to make them. I had a real young team here. I think it was a little case of the nerves.”

The Lady Chiefs ended up making just 12 of 30 free throws. And that was just one factor in the outcome of this game.

“Give credit to Benton (Academy). They have a good ball club. They have a couple of girls who could shoot the ball well,” Pere’ said.

Tensas Academy’s defense was solid in the first quarter and that allowed the South No 2 seed Lady Chiefs to take a 7-4 lead at the end of the quarter. Then the North Central No. 3 seed Lady Raiders took over with a strong performance on both ends of the court in the second quarter, in which they outscored the Lady Chiefs 13-2 to take a 17-9 lead into halftime.

The third and fourth quarters were a lot closer and more competitive than the second quarter was, but Benton Academy had the upper hand in both quarters, outscoring Tensas Academy 9-8 and 14-12.

Bailey Keyes led the Lady Chiefs with 12 points and Taylor Olds added eight points.

“I was proud of the girls. We had our chances. They played hard (today),” Pere’ said. “We accomplished a lot this season.”

Tensas Academy, which won the District 7-A title and finished second at the Class A South Regional Tournament, finished with an overall record of 17-13.

Leake Academy girls 59,

ACCS 28

WINONA — Mary Grace Key led top-ranked and North State champion Leake Academy with a game-high 19 points as those Lady Rebels defeated the Adams County Christian School Lady Rebels 59-28 in the first round of the MAIS Class AA State Tournament at Winona Christian School.

“The girls played hard and they left it all on the court. I’m proud of them,” ACCS head coach Melanie Hall said.

The first quarter was closer than most expected and ended with Leake Academy holding an 11-8 lead over ACCS. Then Leake Academy asserted itself over the next two quarters, outscoring ACCS 17-6 in the second quarter and 26-5 in the third quarter for a commanding 54-19 lead.

Katie Webb added 14 points and Anna Evans chipped in with 10 points for Leake Academy.

Rachel House, Jordan Petty and Ashleigh Williams scored five points each to lead ACCS, which finished with a 25-7 overall record.