Comeback takes Franklin County to final

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 4, 2008

JACKSON — Monea Cameron knew she would have to become Super Woman down the stretch for her Franklin County Lady Bulldogs to pull off the upset.

With a steal and a dribble, Cameron picked up her cape and took off leading Franklin County High School to a dramatic come-from-behind 56-51 victory over North State champs Alcorn Central in the 3A semifinals.

The Lady Bulldogs will play Southeast Lauderdale Friday at 1 p.m. in the Class 3A State Championship game.

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“This is what we’ve been working four years for,” said Cameron, a senior guard. “We had to step up today to get what we wanted.”

Cameron stepped up in a big way, with her team trailing Alcorn Central 47-41 late in the fourth quarter, with steals and lay ups to put her Lady Bulldogs back in it. Down 49-47 with a 1:49 remaining, junior guard Monique Starks put Franklin County ahead for good with a three-pointer.

Junior Paige Webster would create a steal on the next possession and cash it in for a lay up, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 52-50 lead with 1:40 to go.

“We just never gave up,” Franklin County coach Charles Moore said. “I’m proud of my team. We’ve worked real hard to get to this point.”

The Lady Bulldogs (26-10) overcame a hot shooting Alcorn Central team. The Lady Bears (31-6) got second quarter treys by Erin Parrish, Felicia McAllister and Terra Weeks to go into halftime deadlocked with Franklin County at 27-all.

Coached by Charlette Foster, Alcorn Central led 43-41 after three quarters of play.

“Our team chemistry had a lot to do with our victory today,” Moore said. “Ever since the South Pike game in the district tournament we’ve been playing some really good team basketball. Our team effort has been great.”

Next up for the Lady Bulldogs will be their nemesis Southeast Lauderdale. The Lady Tigers have a 4-0 record against the Lady Bulldogs over the last four seasons, which includes a South State Championship victory two weeks ago.

“They have eliminated us the last three years,” Cameron said. “It’s going to be hard, but we’re going to give it our best shot.”

Franklin County was led by 5-11 senior Shareka Hunt with 18 points, six rebounds, and two steals. Webster added 12 points, seven rebounds, and five steals. Cameron finished with 10 points, five boards, four assists, and three steals. Senior forward Charlesia Houston added eight points and five rebounds. Monique Starks and Brianna Hunt had four points and two steals apiece.

For Alcorn Central, senior Erin Parrish led the Lady Bears with ten points and three steals. Junior guard Tatum Lewis finished with nine points. Chelsey Whitaker and Hannah Driver added eight points each.