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Evans pours in 43 for South Leake

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Dec. 20, 2000
WALNUT GROVE If somebody told you Neshoba Central senior guard Tausha Evans had 26 points in Tuesday's 67-55 win over South Leake, you'd think she had a pretty good game.
But if they told you she had 26 points in the fourth quarter alone, you'd think she had a real good game.
Evans tossed in 43 points as the Lady Rockets improved to 10-4, but not without a struggle.
In the boys' contest, defending Class 2A state champion South Leake took advantage of a depleted Rocket roster to pull away to a 70-54 victory.
Neshoba Central girls 67, South Leake 55: South Leake led most of the night before Evans took over in the final period.
The Wildkittens were up 8-6 after one quarter and went up 19-10 in the second period before taking a 27-25 lead into halftime.
After Neshoba went up 28-27 on an Evans' 3-pointer in the first 10 seconds of the third period, South Leake pulled back out to a 39-28 lead with 3:18 remaining in the third quarter on a 3-pointer from Ashley Martin. The Lady Rockets rallied to within 43-40 to start the fourth quarter.
Evans then racked up 26 of her team's 27 points over the final eight minutes. In just under three-and-a-half minutes, Evans hit three 3-pointers, double-pumped underneath for a deuce, and added a pair of driving layups. One of the layups resulted in a three-point play. All that was missing was the partridge in the pear tree.
Neshoba had already beaten South Leake twice including a 75-49 blowout in the Central Mississippi Classic at East Central Community College on Nov. 29.
In addition to Evans, the Lady Rockets also got nine points from Lena Tucker and eight from Elyse Willis.
South Leake, 12-7, got 15 points from Tierra Young, 12 each from Monique Overstreet and Kia Alexander, and seven apiece from Martin and Brandy Earnest.
The next action for the Lady Rockets is Dec. 27 in the Greene County Ladies Classic at Greeneville, Tenn., when they take on North Greene, Tenn., in the opening round of the 16-team, double-elimination tournament.
South Leake boys 70, Neshoba Central 54: The Rockets gave the 16-1 Wildcats their only loss to date, 61-56, on Nov. 11 at NCHS. But with only eight of the original 14 Rocket players on hand, the rematch belonged to South Leake.
After shaking off a sluggish first half, the Wildcats padded a 31-24 halftime lead into a 51-32 advantage by the end of the third quarter.
Jamal Brown led the third period for South Leake as he scored 10 points from close range. Kalus Johnson added six points.
Neshoba, 9-6, got 17 points from Desmond Jones, 14 from Tavares Walker, and 11 each from Chris Owen and Landon Byars. Owen was 6-of-6 at the free-throw line, while Byars buried three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
South Leake got 25 points from Johnson, 22 from Brown, 11 from Chris Bloodsaw, and six each from LeKendrick Fortune and Adrian Kelly.
The Rockets are off until Jan. 4 when the Neshoba Central Invitational opens. In addition to the two Neshoba teams, Philadelphia, West Lauderdale, and Kosciusko will also be competing.