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WCCA loses to Central Private at buzzer

NATCHEZ — With less than 10 seconds left, Wilkinson County Christian’s hopes of extending their season were in the hands of one shooter — but no one was comfortable enough to take the shot at first.

WCCA trailed 56-54 and wanted to avoid overtime by nailing a three-pointer. After passing the ball around several times, the Lady Rams’ Brandi Norwood got the look she wanted, and sent the ball flying from beyond the arc.

But the shot fell just short, and opponent Central Private secured the ball and the win on the defensive rebound, as WCCA fell in the opening round of the MAIS District 5-AA tournament Tuesday.

“I hate it for our seniors. They played hard,” WCCA head coach Ray McDaniel said.

“We had a wide open look at the buzzer for the win, and you knock that down, it’s a different story. I’m proud of the girls’ effort. You want to win the game, but sometimes it doesn’t happen for you.”

Central Private led 56-49 with 1:24 left to play, forcing WCCA to start fouling. The Lady Rebels could have easily put the game away with foul shots, but in the final 1:12, Central Private was 0-for-6 from the line, allowing the Lady Rams to slowly chip away at the lead.

At the 37-second mark, Norwood hit a three-pointer, cutting the lead to four. After sending Central Private’s Amy Galliano to the line, Galliano missed the one-and-one, and WCCA recovered. Terri Fisher then hit a field goal, making it a one-possession game.

On the ensuing Lady Rebel possession, Sarah Fryous drew a foul but missed both of her free throws. WCCA got the ball back with less than 10 seconds left to set up Norwood’s game-winning attempt.

WCCA led 16-8 after the first quarter, but a rough second quarter allowed Central Private to storm back. After Bethany Fletcher hit a free throw eight seconds into the second, WCCA didn’t score again until the 5:08 mark in the period. The Lady Rebels, meanwhile, used the Lady Rams’ drought to score nine unanswered points and tie the game 17-17.

But WCCA outscored Central Private 13-3 in the remaining minutes of the second quarter to lead 28-22 at the half.

The two teams opened the third quarter scoring nine points apiece, but WCCA went cold again in the final 3:34 of the period. Central Private finished the third on an 11-point run to lead 42-37 after three.

“We just got out-rebounded in the third quarter, and that was the main difference in the ball game,” McDaniel said.

Caroline Walker led the Lady Rams with 20 points before fouling out with 1:59 left in the fourth. Fisher added 14 and Norwood tallied 12, but WCCA had no answer for the Lady Rebels’ Jessi Creel, who led everyone in scoring with 34 points.

“She’s tough. We knew that coming in,” McDaniel said. “They isolated her, and we just didn’t have anyone who could control her.”

WCCA finished the season 7-18.

Centreville 64,

WCCA boys 9

Jake Darden and J.T. Doughty both scored 11 points for Centreville as the Tigers defeated the Rams in a blowout.

Only three players scored for WCCA. Trent Hall led the Rams with six points.

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