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Lady Rams win championship

By Staff
ON THE RUN Kemper Academy's Kayla Mosley gets sandwiched between Wayne Academy's Christen Palmer, left and Kristian Davidson. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper/staff writer
Feb. 17, 2002
DEKALB – The sign of a good team, regardless of the sport, is that whenever someone goes down, someone else steps up to make sure the job gets done.
The Kemper Academy Lady Rams did just that Saturday afternoon with a tough 50-39 win over Wayne Academy for the Academy Class A Central Regional championship at Knox Dudley Jr. Gymnasium on the KA campus.
The Central Academy Lady Vikings took the consolation game with a 52-50 overtime win over Sharkey-Issaquena Academy. All four teams will advance to the Academy Class A State Tournament this week at Delta Academy in Marks.
Kemper girls 50
Wayne 39
The Lady Rams were leading 28-22 early in the third quarter when Megan Whitaker went down with an injury to her left ankle. She was unable to return. Blair Johnson picked up her fourth foul with 6:40 left in the game and suddenly Kemper was without its two top rebounders up to that point.
With the two big girls out, the little ones saved the day. Harpole and Darnell both scored seven of Kemper's final 20 points as the Lady Rams held off the Lady Jaguars. Kayla Mosley added four points with Johnson returning to make a pair of free throws for a 47-39 advantage with 1:26 to play.
Kemper led 11-8 after one period and carried a 26-18 lead into halftime. Kemper owned the boards in the first half, often getting three and four shots, but the Lady Rams' shooting was only slightly more accurate than that of the Taliban.
Both teams scored eight points in the third period, leaving Kemper with a 34-26 advantage with eight minutes to play.
Kemper, 28-7, got 11 points and three steals from Harpole; 10 points, 12 rebounds, and three steals from Johnson; 10 points and seven rebounds from Mosley; nine points and seven steals from Darnell; six points and six rebounds from Leslie Beach; and four points and seven rebounds from Whitaker. The Lady Rams made eight of their 10 free throws.
Wayne, 14-12, got 14 points from freshman Kristian Davidson, 11 from Erin Stanley, and eight from Christen Palmer. The Lady Jaguars were only 1-of-6 at the free-throw line.
Central girls 52
Sharkey-Issaquena 50
For the second straight day, Central squandered a 13-point lead. This time, however, the Lady Vikings righted the ship in time to come away with the two-point victory in overtime.
Central led 11-9 after one quarter and carried a 15-13 lead into halftime after a sluggish first 16 minutes of action by both teams. Carrie Coker had 10 points for Central in the first half, while SIA's Keri Smith had 11 of her team's 13.
The Lady Vikings outscored SIA 16-6 in the third period to go up 31-19. Coker and Meagan Stokes both had eight points for Central during the quarter. Coker connected on a pair of 3-pointers.
The Lady Vikings got a free throw from Leslie Hancock to go up 32-19 in the first minute of the fourth quarter. SIA got two 3-pointers from Smith and two more from Emily Ann Magee to close to within 40-39.
Regulation ended with a 41-41 deadlock as SIA pulled even on a putback by Kristen Cox with eight seconds showing.
The Lady Confederates were only 3-of-9 at the free-throw line in overtime as Central went up 50-45 when a wide open Lindley Simpson scored in the lane with 1:08 to go.
SIA battled back to within 50-48, but a pair of free throws by Olivia Reed with 7.5 seconds remaining sealed the win.
Central, 18-19, got 20 points from Stokes and 19 from Coker, who was 7-of-8 at the free-throw line. The Lady Vikings made 14 of their 20 free throws, while SIA made only 3-of-11.
Smith led SIA, 21-18, with 24 points. Cox scored 10.