Wrap this title in green and white!
March 11, 2001
By Marty Stamper
The Meridian Star
JACKSON Of the 25 girls' basketball games played in the Mississippi High School Activities Association's two-week state tournament, they definitely saved the most exciting finish for last.
Lake's Kim Cox drove the lane for a basket with five seconds left to give the Lady Hornets the Class 1A state championship with a 58-57 thriller over Myrtle Saturday night in the Mississippi Coliseum.
Cox knew the game rested on her shoulders.
With Kimyatta Viverette and Roxana Rogers already fouled out, Lake's options were few at that point.
Lake found itself in a 21-7 hole by the end of the first quarter and still stared at a double-digit deficit (31-21) at halftime.
The Lady Hornets got to within 41-37 by the end of the third quarter with Viverette scoring eight of Lake's 16 third-period points.
Lake took its first lead of the night at 46-45 on a basket by Viverette with 5:46 remaining. She fouled out 39 seconds later with Armintie Price converting a three-point play to put Myrtle up 50-46.
Again, Lake refused to stay down long.
After ties at 50-50, 52-52, 54-54, and 56-56, Price made the second of two free shots with 14.1 seconds left to give the Lady Hawks a 57-56 lead. She had missed two freebies with 1:19 to play.
Cox then got the ball off the left wing and drove for the winning basket.
A 3-pointer from Priscilla Berry just inside midcourt was well off target as time ran out.
Lake's defensive pressure in the final period had a lot to do with its 21-16 advantage over the final eight minutes.
Fouls plagued both teams. All five Myrtle starters had at least two at halftime. Four Lady Hawks finished with four, though no Myrtle girls fouled out.
Lake lost Viverette and Rogers and had three others with at least three fouls.
Lake got 17 points from Viverette, 15 from Rogers, 10 from Kim Cox, six apiece from Odena Cox and April Viverette, and four from Latoyia Hunt.
Myrtle, 33-4, got 28 points from Price and 18 from Berry.
In going 34-3, the Lady Hornets' only losses were to Class 3A West Lauderdale, Class 4A state semifinalist Neshoba Central, and Class 2A Morton.
The win gave the Lady Hornets their first state championship since 1970.
Lake will carry a 26-game win streak into the 2001-2002 season.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.