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Southeast in state title contest

By Staff
JUMPING FOR JOY n Monique Horner celebrates with fans and team members after winning the Class 3-A semi-finals over the Choctaw Central Lady Warriors. Southeast will play for the championship Friday at 1 p.m. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
March 4, 2001
JACKSON Southeast Lauderdale's girls basketball split its season series with Division 5-3A rivals Newton County and West Lauderdale.
Saturday night at the Mississippi Coliseum, the Lady Tigers evened their season series with Choctaw Central. This split, however, earns Southeast a berth in Friday's Class 3A state championship game.
Southeast is in the state title contest for the first time since 1988 by virtue of its 72-67 victory over Choctaw in front of an estimated crowd of more than 6,000 fans.
The Lady Tigers, who are now 31-8, got a game-high 36 points from superstar guard Monique Horner. The state's all-time leading scorer also had 11 rebounds, seven assists and six steals.
Freshman Ebony Moore had 11 points and 14 rebounds for Southeast, Lesley Ruffin had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Kenitta Cooley had nine points and 12 rebounds. The Lady Tigers trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half before opening the third quarter with 12 unanswered points.
Choctaw Central, which won three of the last four Class 2A titles before moving to Class 3A last year, finished with a 31-5 record. Senior forward Melinda Ben led the Lady Warriors with 20 points and 10 rebounds, eighth-grade sensation Chantay Frazier had 12 points and 11 rebounds and senior guard Crystal Lewis scored 10 points.
Rocky Higginbotham is sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at