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Lady Rockets get another shot at Tigerettes

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Feb. 16, 2001
COLUMBUS If your colors are red, white, and blue and your school's initials are NCHS, we'll see you again tonight in the girls' finals of the Division 2-4A Tournament at New Hope High School.
Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
Neshoba Central's Lady Rockets and Noxubee County's Lady Tigers punched their tickets for the first round of the Class 4A North State Tournament Monday night with semifinal wins in the 2-4A Tournament Thursday.
Neshoba whipped Aberdeen 69-50 in the day's opener, while Noxubee County beat Louisville by 19, 55-36, in the other semifinal.
Neshoba Central girls 69, Aberdeen 50: The Lady Rockets scored 14 of the last 20 points of the first half to turn a slim 17-15 lead into a 31-21 halftime bulge.
Aberdeen had used a strong rebounding effort early to lead 14-9 before the Lady Rockets got a 25-foot 3-pointer from Tausha Evans with 27 seconds left in the opening period to close to within 14-12 at the end of the first eight minutes.
The third-seeded Lady Bulldogs' rebounding advantage disappeared in the second quarter.
If that wasn't bad enough, repeated turnovers plagued Aberdeen as well. And second-seeded Neshoba took advantage of nearly every mistake.
The Lady Rockets opened the second half with a 7-0 run to take a 38-21 lead two minutes into the third quarter. Elyse Willis had a layup and a free throw, while Krystal Wells and Evans each had a basket as the Lady Rockets broke the game open.
A driving layup by Evans gave Neshoba a 53-34 lead at the end of the third quarter and the Lady Rockets led by as much as 26 points in the final period.
Neshoba had taken a 94-79 shootout over Aberdeen just last Friday at NCHS.
Evans led Neshoba, 24-9, with 22 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Miranda Rosar scored 11, all of which came in the first half. Wells also had 11 points, while Willis and Bonnie Lewis both had six. Tasha Wesley added four.
Aberdeen, which finished 18-10, got 18 points from Nesha Randle and 14 from Crystal Bender.
Noxubee County 55, Louisville 36: Despite playing what Noxubee coach Narvel Colemon called a "raggedy" first half, his top-seeded Lady Tigers opened up a 26-13 halftime gap in taking the late girls' game.
Noxubee extended its win streak to 13 and upped its record to 27-4.
The Lady Tigers got 16 points from Erlexis Cooper, 11 from Chaffie Spann, nine from Jessica Mason, and six from Tiffany Murray.
Louisville, which concluded its season at 16-10, got nine points apiece from Dee Forrest and Shaneaka Cistrunk and five each from Nikki Yarbrough and Shenita Ford.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at sports@themeridianstar.com

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