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Neshoba's rally falls short

By Staff
From staff reports
Feb. 25, 2001
With a 14 point lead with 4:49 remaining in the third quarter, Raymond's head coach Josette Barton decided to slow down her game and that decision put the game's outcome in danger.
Although Raymond defeated the Neshoba Central Lady Rockets 62-57 to win the 4A North Half Girls Tournament, Neshoba pulled with two points with 20 seconds remaining to bring the homestanding crowd to its feet.
According to Barton, she felt she had to slow down the game because her defending 4A state champions were tired.
Despite her reasoning, Barton felt her decision came back to haunt her.
Raymond jumped out to a 19-9 first quarter lead and continued to pound it inside to LaQunda Nichols and Candace Roberts to go up 37-24 with 1:54 remaining in the half. After Neshoba's India Backstrom hit one of two freethrows, a full minute ticked off the clock as Raymond held the ball to close the half.
Going into the fourth, Neshoba trailed 49-36, but senior point guard Tausha Evans hit 13 of her 35 points in the final period to spark her team.
Raymond was led by Shia Freeman with 21 points, Nichols with 17 and Roberts with 15.
Noxubee County 70, Yazoo City 56: Although Noxubee County only led by two (27-25) at the half, Coach Narvel Coleman and team turned up the pressure and pounded the ball inside to knock off Yazoo City and advance to the state tournament in Jackson.
Katerina Jamison led Noxubee County with 21 points, while Sharenquea Rucker added 18 and Erlexis Cooper chipped in 13.
Yazoo City's Aryiana Houston knocked down eight three-pointers and led all scorers with 28 points, while teammate Ida Edwards added 23.