Lady Knights are ready to make school history
By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
March 9, 2002
They've won a bunch of state championships at West Lauderdale since the school was created in 1962. Ten baseball championships. Three boys' basketball championships. Five slow-pitch softball championships. Even a soccer championship.
But never a girls' basketball state championship.
The Lady Knights have an opportunity to add that to their collection today when they take on W.P. Daniel High School of New Albany in the finals of the Class 3A State Tournament at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.
The 33-4 Lady Knights will have to get past a tough New Albany team that sports a 33-6 record after stomping Cleveland 64-31 in Wednesday's semifinal.
Six-foot-1 Dandy Dozen senior Ellen Buchanan, who has signed with Ole Miss, scored 24 points despite not having to play the final 5:18. She also had 14 rebounds.
Buchanan had 33 points in a 61-52 opening-round win over Heidelberg. She averages 26 points and 14 rebounds.
While West has only one senior, 5-foot-10 JaWanda Huggins, New Albany has seven on its roster.
This is the Lady Bulldogs' first time to reach the state finals. West made it to the 1976 title game only to lose 51-47 to Pontotoc.
The Lady Knights are making their first appearance in the state tournament since 1991. They defeated Ripley 54-53 in a gut-wrenching semifinal contest Tuesday night.
Hurst usually starts JaWanda Huggins, 5-foot-10 junior J.J. Huggins, 5-foot-9 junior Kristina Gardner, 5-foot-5 junior Patty Monroe, and 5-foot-8 sophomore Cierra Jennings with 6-foot-2 sophomore Shannon Lloyd and 5-foot-6 junior Amy Frazier coming off the bench.
While West has never won a girls' championship, contributing communities Center Hill (1934 and 1961) and Collinsville (1952) have.