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Lady Rams come home to win

By By Austin Bishop/EMG regional sports director
Feb. 13, 2002
DEKALB Home was not only a sight for sore eyes for the Kemper Academy Lady Rams on Tuesday night, it was also very sweet.
The Lady Rams, playing at home for the first time since Jan. 3, pounded Tri-County Academy 73-34 in the first round of the MPSA Central A Region Tournament.
In other first-round games the Central Academy girls beat CM&I 61-29, the Tri-County boys knocked off District 3 top-seed Wayne Academy 51-50 and the CM&I boys beat Sylva-Bay Academy 101-31.
Tonight's first-round boys action has Rebul and Heidelberg facing off at 5:30 p.m. and Newton County Academy taking on University Christian at 8:30 p.m.
Tonight's girls games feature Wayne and Rebul playing at 4 p.m. and Heidelberg and Sharkey-Issaquena squaring off at 7 p.m.
Kemper Academy scored the first 12 points of the game and was up 20-2 with 2:42 to go in the first quarter.
Kemper's press was devastating to TCA, as Kemper turned turnover after turnover into easy buckets on the way to a 26-8 lead after one quarter and 45-17 at the half.
Cruise said winning the first-round game and earning a spot in the state tournament is a big deal for his Lady Rams.
Blair Johnson scored 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Lady Rams, while Megan Whitaker had 14 points and seven steals and Leslie Beach scored 14 points for the 26-7 Kemper Academy squad.
Jean Maree Ragland led 8-13 TCA with 12 points.
Tri-County 51
Wayne boys 50
Stampley Perry hit a free throw with 16 seconds left and then the Rebels of Tri-County Academy knocked the ball out of bounds three times during Wayne's last possession to relegate the Jaguars to a desperation, off-balance, three-pointer at the buzzer on the way to the upset win.
Wayne last led at 45-44, before TCA went on a 6-1 run to take a 50-46 lead. But Barrett Tynes hit a driving layup with 42 seconds left and Alex Brewer powered up a put back off a teammate's missed shot with 19.9 seconds left to tie the game.
WA opted to foul Tri-County to send the Rebels to the line. Stampley made the first free throw, but missed the second one.
The Rebels turned up the defensive intensity and never allowed the Jaguars, which fell to 11-8 on the season, a good look at the basket.
The game was tied 17-17 after one quarter, while the 8-12 Rebels held a 25-24 lead at the half.
Tri-County stretched that lead to 36-30, before the Jags began to mound a comeback.
Perry and Jace Creel led Tri-County with 14 points each, while Eric Green tossed in nine.
Steven Wood and Cory Cochran had 15 points each for Wayne, while Tynes added 12.
The TCA boys advance to the semifinals Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the Newton County Academy-University Christian winner.
Central girls 61
CM&I 29
The Lady Vikings of Central Academy jumped out to a 30-11 halftime lead on the way to the easy first-round win to earn a spot in the semifinals of this tournament and a place in next week's MPSA Class A Tournament at Delta Academy.
Leslie Hancock fired in 16 points for the winners, while Carrie Coker and Meagan Stokes scored 12 points each. Ashley Davis scored 21 points to lead CM&I.
Central is now 17-18 on the season, while CM&I is 10-17.
The Lady Vikings will take on the Rebul-Wayne winner at 1 p.m. on Friday.
CM&I boys 101
Sylva-Bay 31
Julius Love scored 14 of his game-high 25 points in the first quarter to lead Christ Missionary &Industrial College High School to the 70-point first-round win.
Theron White scored all nine of his points in the first quarter that saw the Crusaders outscore the severely outmanned Saints 35-2.
Landon Veal and Jason Berry scored 15 points each for the winners, while Adrian Carpenter hit for 14.
Nathan Hayes led the 5-18 Saints with 10 points.
Next up for CM&I is the Rebul-Heidelberg winner at 6 p.m. on Friday.