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Lady Warriors bomb Pearl Pirates

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Jan. 5, 2001
FOREST Over the past few years, Choctaw Central's girls have been able to rely on their patented press or their long-range exploits to blow past opponents.
After all, if one doesn't get you, the other one will.
But when the Lady Warriors have both working as they did Thursday night here in the Central Mississippi Classic the results usually aren't good for the opponent.
Choctaw Central bombed seven 3-pointers and forced 25 turnovers by Pearl Thursday night, and that was just in the first half as the Lady Warriors coasted to an 83-48 win over the Lady Pirates.
Thursday's other tournament action at the Durward Smith Gymnasium saw the host Bearcats down Choctaw Central 60-46, while Northwest Rankin edged Union 63-53 in a girls' matchup and Pearl downed Scott Central in a boys' game.
Today's action starts at 4:15 p.m., when South Leake battles Pearl in a girls' consolation bracket contest. The 5:30 p.m. girls' semifinal should be a dandy as 16-2 Meridian and 15-2 Choctaw Central meet in a rematch of the Frazier-Yarbrough Tournament finals, as should the final game of the night at 8 p.m. when cross-county powers Forest and Scott Central tangle in the other girls' semifinal.
The only boys' game tonight pits South Leake against Northwest Rankin in a semifinal contest at 6:45 p.m. The Central Mississippi Classic wraps up Saturday with six games.
Choctaw Central girls 83, Pearl 48: Things were going fine for the Lady Warriors in the first half as Choctaw Central ripped three 3-pointers and forced 12 turnovers, jumping to a 21-10 lead.
Then came the second period and 13 more turnovers by the Class 4A Lady Pirates.
A three by Shavon Willis sparked an 11-1 run by Choctaw Central to open the period, and after three's by Willis and Ferne Denson and a steal and layup by Crystal Lewis, the Lady Warriors were on their way to a 34-point quarter that blew the game wide open.
Denson finished with 19 points to lead Choctaw Central, and she also had seven rebounds and five steals. Willis scored 17 and had six assists, Lewis scored 12 to go with eight assists and four steals, Deaundra Johnson chipped in eight points and Chantay Frazier and Felicia John added six points apiece.
Tyree Brown had a game-high 28 points for Pearl.
Forest boys 60, Choctaw Central 46: The Bearcats won for the second straight night, moving into Saturday's championship contest.
It wasn't all peachy for Forest, however. Steve Harber's bunch managed just 10 points in the first quarter and was down 30-23 at halftime.
But the 8-8 Bearcats took the lead late in the third on a steal and layup by Paul Brown, then outscored Choctaw Central 18-6 in the final eight minutes.
Trevarrous Willis led Forest with 17 points, while Brown had 14. Maurice Longmire scored 11, and Charles Rhodes and Braxton Boone chipped in six apiece.
Ira Ben had 12 and Kinsey Henry 10 for the Warriors, who fell to 6-12. Devon Jim chipped in seven and Corey Sam six.
Northwest Rankin girls 63, Union 53: The Class 1A Lady Yellow Jackets stayed with the Class 5A Lady Cougars, but couldn't pull off the win.
Stephanie Boggans scored a game-high 24 points for Northwest Rankin, which led by just four points at halftime. The Lady Cougars who were a red-hot 23-of-28 from the free throw line also got 13 points from Leigh Ann Foster.
Jerica Hickman led Union with 15 points. LaSaundra Harrison was also in double figures for the 5-13 Lady Jackets with 12 points, as was Dana Buckley with 11 points.
Pearl boys 53, Scott Central 32: The Class 4A Pirates earned just their second win of the season, keeping Class 1A Scott Central winless.
Pearl (2-13) outscored 0-9 Scott Central 24-9 in the two middle quarters to open up a 20-point advantage.
Matt Buchanan led the Pirates with 14 points, while Kenny Jenkins chipped in nine.
Rodrick Loper had a game-high 15 for Scott Central, which also got nine from Nick Laster.