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Horner pumps in 33, just shy of scoring mark

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
For at least a few more hours, Tarsha Bethley is still the all-time leading scorer in high school girls' basketball in Mississippi.
Southeast Lauderdale senior guard Monique Horner scored 33 points in her team's 62-61 loss to Northeast Lauderdale Thursday night, giving her 3,643 career points.
That's just four shy of the 3,647 points Bethley scored at Hollandale-Simmons from 1990-95 before going to Ole Miss. It also means, that with five points today against Clarkdale in the Lauderdale County Tournament at Meridian Community College, Horner will break Bethley's record.
Horner's 33 points Thursday gives her an average of 34.1 this year for the Lady Tigers, who are 4-3 on the young season. She could have passed Bethley with a 38-point performance, but admitted she was a bit uptight.
Horner missed her first five shots from the field and was 1-of-8 in the first quarter. She finished 12-of-33, including 5-of-16 from three-point land. Horner was also just 4-of-8 from the free throw line.
Southeast coach Joe Miller said he had only seen Horner so uptight on a couple of other occasions in her six-year career. But there was a solid crowd on hand for Thursday's game that included a lot of first-time fans watching Horner, as well as a handful wearing T-shirts supporting the senior guard's pursuit of the record.
Horner said after the contest that she was more disappointed in her team's last-second loss than the scoring record; and that she had no idea how many points she had in the contest until it was over.
The record figures to fall early today, as Horner lit up Clarkdale for 42 points in last week's Bi-County Tip-Off Tournament at Union.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@meridianstar.com.

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