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Lady Knights power past Newton County

By Staff
WILD SCRAMBLE West Lauderdale's J. J. Huggins, left, races against Newton County' s Yvonne Kidd and Dominique Mapp for a loose ball during action in the ECCC Central Mississippi Classic on Wednesday. Photo by Paul Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Jeff Byrd and Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Nov. 29, 2001
DECATUR Firepower from four different players helped lead the West Lauderdale Lady Knights past arch-rival Newton County here in a second round winners bracket game of the East Central Mississippi Classic at ECCC.
West Lauderdale post players Shannon Lloyd and Jawanda Huggins scored 17 points apiece while guard Patty Monroe chipped in 16 and J.J. Huggins had 14 to lead the Lady Knights to the 71-54 victory. West, now 7-1, will face Neshoba Central in Friday's semi-finals at 7 p.m.
For Newton County, the loss drops their record to 6-2 and eliminates them from the 14-team tournament.
Lady Knight Head Coach Jody Hurst was pleased with how his team was able to handle Newton County's pressure and attack from four different angles.
One of those options was Lloyd who made her first start of season following an injury to Kristina Gardner who was scratched because of a hurt knee.
It was a three-point play by Monroe off the fast break that helped put West up 26-15 midway through the second quarter. The Lady Knights then took a 29-17 advantage when Lloyd converted a feed started when J.J. Huggins broke through a two-girl press with some excellent ball-handling.
Newton County answered going on a 8-1 run to close out the half cutting the lead to 30-25. Yolanda Johnson, however, picked up her fourth foul during the end of the spurt and her loss would devastate the Lady Cougars in the second half.
With Johnson sitting, West Lauderdale went on an 11-0 run to take command of the game. Baskets by J.J. Huggins, a follow-up by Lloyd and a three-pointer from Monroe handed West a 41-25 lead.
A three-pointer by Kristin Chaney with 4:12 left in the quarter finally broke the ice for Newton County. Huggins, though, came right back igniting a 10-5 run to finish the quarter putting West up 51-33.
Lake 57
Forest 46
Lake knocked off top-seeded Forest 57-46 in Wednesday night's second girls game at the East Central Classic. Lake trailed 16-13 at the half but went on a 27-9 tear in the third quarter to take a 40-25 lead after three quarters.
Newton 53
Scott Central 45
The Division 5-2A rivals met for the first of several times this season with the unbeaten Lady Tigers improving to 3-0 with the win. Newton was led by 6-foot-senior Lenora Gray's 18 points. Kotreece Bender scored 11, Creoshia Williams tossed in 10, and Tonya Jordan added seven.
Scott, 9-2, got 17 points from Britney Burks, 14 from Kattie Nickson, six from Elyse Clay, and five from Marquitta Anderson.
Newton advances to Friday's 7 p.m. semifinal contest with Lake, while Scott was eliminated with the loss.
Neshoba Central 57
South Leake 47
India Backstrom scored 18 points as the Lady Rockets improved to 8-2 with the 10-point win.
Backstrom, a 5-foot-7 junior, had 12 points in the first half as Neshoba carried a 30-27 lead into the break.
The Lady Rockets stretched their advantage to 42-35 entering the fourth quarter.
The Lady Rockets went 12 minutes and 29 seconds into the second half before picking up their first foul of the half and by then held a 50-42 lead.
South Leake closed to within 50-47, but a 3-pointer from Elyse Willis with 1:20 left halted the comeback bid.
Neshoba also got 13 points from Willis, 12 from Krystal Wells, and seven apiece from Miranda Rosar and Kandice Thomas.
Neshoba advances to a 4 p.m. semifinal date with West Lauderdale, 7-1. The loss eliminated South Leake, 6-1.
The Wildkittens got 12 points from Kia Alexander, 10 from Ashley Martin, eight from Monique Overstreet, and six from Tierra Young.