Franklin County clinches regular season title

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2006

WESSON &8212; First place was on the line Tuesday night in Region 7-3A between the undefeated Franklin County and the Columbia at Mullen Gymnasium on the Co-Lin campus.

Columbia played some inspired basketball in the first half, but turnovers and foul trouble proved to be costly as Franklin County dominated the second half en route to a 67-50 win to clinch the regular season championship and the No. 1 seed in the Region 7-3A Tournament.

&8220;It was a very tough game,&8221; Lady Bulldogs head coach Charles Moore said.

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Franklin County (10-0, 16-0) had a slim 16-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. Columbia then outscored the Lady Bulldogs 19-13 in the second quarter to take a 33-29 halftime lead.

&8220;We adjusted the defense in the second half,&8221; Moore said. &8220;A little more half-court trapping. We didn&8217;t do that in the first half. We got some quick turnovers out of it, and it allowed us to get the lead.&8221;

Not only that, but several Columbia players were in foul trouble and couldn&8217;t get anything going on offense.

Franklin County outscored Columbia 19-8 in the third quarter and 19-9 in the fourth quarter.

Victoria Hunt led the Lady Bulldogs with 27 points, and Shareka Hunt had 15 points.

&8220;She&8217;s (Victoria Hunt) been playing great defense for us also,&8221; Moore said.

Latessa Lee led the Lady Wildcats (7-2, 18-6) with 14 points, and Jeammine Creel had 13 points.

Wingfield 50, Natchez High 33

NATCHEZ &8212; Natchez didn&8217;t play like a team that hadn&8217;t won a game in Division 6-5A this season in the first half, and the Lady Falcons seemed to be in trouble.

After trailing 18-10 at the end of the first quarter, Wingfield (3-1, 18-5) got back in the game in the second quarter by outscoring Natchez High (0-6, 6-15) 17-10 in the second quarter and trailed by just one at halftime.

Then the unthinkable happened &8212; the Lady Bulldogs were held scoreless in the third quarter, and the Lady Falcons took the lead for good en route to a 17-point win.

Trinity 52, Centreville 26

CLINTON, La. &8212; After a lackluster second quarter by Trinity and Centreville in the second quarter, the Lady Saints used a 17-2 advantage in the third quarter to put away the Lady Tigers in the first round of the District 4-AA Tournament.

Centreville (4-19) kept the game close in the first half and held Trinity (18-8) to just seven points in the second quarter. Unfortunately for the No. 7 seed Lady Tigers, they managed just three points.

The Lady Saints then used that big run in the third quarter to turn a nine-point lead at halftime into a 24-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Mallory Archer had 10 points to lead Trinity, the No. 2 seed, who will meet the winner of the Brookhaven Academy/Silliman game at 6:40 p.m. Friday. Brittany Boatner led Centreville with 12 points.

Cathedral 37, Dexter 32

NATCHEZ &8212; In a Region 7-1A game that went back and forth, the Lady Green Wave outscored the Lady Bulldogs 14-9 in the fourth quarter for the margin of victory.

Mattie Smith led Cathedral (3-6, 4-15) with a game-high 17 points. Nikki Ratliff led Dexter (1-7, 3-17) with 14 points.

Ferriday 68, Vidalia 29

VIDALIA &8212; The Lady Trojans took control of the game from the opening tip and dominated the first half as they led 21-5 after one quarter of play and 34-7 at halftime in a District 4-2A game.

Ashley Atkins led Ferriday (2-2, 21-3) with 17 points, and Kiawana McDowell had 13 points. Chelsie McElwee led Vidalia (0-4, 0-22) with 11 points.

WCCA 47, Prentiss Christian 40

WOODVILLE &8212; The Lady Rams nearly let a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter slip away because of turnovers, but they kept their composure and made some key free throws to defeat the Lady Saints in the first round of the District 6-A Tournament.

&8220;In the fourth quarter ,we did not protect the ball, and they were able to cut into our lead,&8221; Lady Rams head coach Paul Hayles said. &8220;It&8217;s definitely a big win. To win in the opening round is a good feeling.&8221;

WCCA (9-6) played solid on both ends of the court in the first half and led Prentiss Christian (3-16) 10-4 at the end of the first quarter and 26-17 at halftime.

&8220;Cary Benton did a good job creating some shots,&8221; Hayles said. &8220;Tori Whetstone did a good job handling the ball for despite battling the flu. Kate Wilkerson made her presence felt down low.&8221;

Benton scored 15 points to lead the Lady Rams, who will take on No. 2 seed Ben&8217;s Ford in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday. WCCA also clinched a berth in the South State Tournament. Cameron Miller led Prentiss Christian with 15 points.

Tensas Academy 48, Tallulah Academy 20

TALLULAH, La. &8212; The Lady Chiefs dominated the first and fourth quarters of this District 7-A game, outscoring the Lady Trojans a combined 30-8 en route to a 28-point win.

Megan Bauerle led Tensas (9-0, 24-4) with a game-high 17 points. Laura Marsh led Tallulah (1-8 in 7-A) with 11 points.

Crystal Springs 55, Jefferson County 47

CRYSTAL SPRINGS &8212; Led by the duo of Latasha Nichols and Tyesha Williams, the host Lady Tigers controlled the first half and took a 34-22 lead at halftime as they defeated the visiting Lady Tigers in a Region 6-3A game.

Nichols had a game-high 24 points and Williams added 18 points for Crystal Springs (10-0, 22-9). Stacy Thomas led Jefferson County (4-6, 8-13) with 13 points.

Briarfield 49, Huntington 29

LAKE PROVIDENCE, La. &8212; Carleigh Keene, Callie Lensing and Lori Lensing combined to score 40 points as the Lady Rebels defeated the Lady Hounds to remain in second place in District 7-A.

Keene led Briarfield (6-3, 12-10) with 17 points. Callie Lensing had 12 points and Lori Lensing chipped in with 11 points. Leslie Wagoner led Huntington (3-6, 7-19) with eight points.

Block 60, St. Mary&8217;s 42

NATCHITOCHES, La. &8212; With Montgomery still undefeated in District 3-1A, the Lady Bears could not afford to slip into a tie for second place and be two games out of the lead as the season starts to wind down.

Thanks to the play of Corinthia Green, Janiqua Jefferson and Ashley Green, that didn&8217;t happen as the Lady Bears defeated St. Mary&8217;s to stay in second place all by themselves.

Corinthia Green led Block (6-1, 15-8) with a game-high 22 points. Liz Vienna led St. Mary&8217;s (4-3, 12-14) with 14 points.