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Horner finally gets back to the Big House

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
March 4, 2001
JACKSON Basketball fans in the East Central Mississippi area have seen, read and heard about Monique Horner for the past six years.
But since the Southeast Lauderdale superstar was making just her second appearance here in the State Tournament at the Mississippi Coliseum Saturday, it's easy to understand why she caused such a fuss.
Horner didn't disappoint, scoring 27 of her game-high 36 points in the second half Saturday to carry Southeast to a 72-67 win over division rival Choctaw Central in the Class 3A state semifinals.
The 31-8 Lady Tigers will play either North State champ South Pontotoc or South State runnerup Hazlehurst Friday at 1 p.m. at the Coliseum for the state championship.
The last and only time Horner played in a State Tournament contest was when she was an eighth-grader, and the Lady Tigers dropped an opening-round game to Velma Jackson. It was a long road back to the Big House for Horner, who made the most of her opportunity in the second half after being completely shielded by Choctaw Central in the first 16 minutes of Saturday's contest.
Horner scored seven of Southeast's points in a 12-0 run to open the second half that got the Lady Tigers back in it.
Her steal and layup and wild, off-balance shot from the corner later kept Southeast in it, and her five free throws in the final 51 seconds of the game sealed it.
Horner finished 11-of-13 from the line and 11-of-21 from the field. She also had 11 rebounds, as well as seven assists and six steals.
Mississippi High School Activities Association executive director Ennis Proctor said Horner was the best he'd seen in at least 10 years.
Horner, however, echoed Miller's thoughts that the Lady Tigers were much more concerned with winning a state championship than her individual accolades.
Southeast was close to elimination in both the division tournament and the first round of the 3A playoffs. But now, the Lady Tigers have won 23 of their last 25 games with both losses ironically coming to Choctaw Central.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@themeridianstar.com.

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