Lady Warriors run away with medal
By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
June 30, 2003
The fast break of the Choctaw Central Lady Warriors helped land them a gold medal in the girls' finals of the State Games of Mississippi High School Basketball Tournament on Sunday afternoon at the Ivy Sports Center at Meridian Community College.
As impressive as the Lady Warriors looked in beating Warren Central 55-43 in the gold medal game, the biggest trick of the day was coming back to beat gold-medal favorite Meridian in a morning semifinal game at the Ivy Center.
The Lady Warriors were down 11 with three minutes to go against the Lady Wildcats, but came back to force overtime. There, Choctaw Central got two baskets and that was the difference in a 50-46 decision.
In the gold medal game, Choctaw Central got its fast break going from the get go. Eleven of the Lady Warriors' 14 first-half baskets came off drives to the basket.
Choctaw Central broke out to a 16-9 lead. The Lady Warriors then went on an 11-2 run after Warren Central had closed to within five at 16-11. That was the closest the Lady Vikings came to the Lady Warriors.
Lady Warriors head coach Walter Wilson said getting off to a good start was a key.
Warren Central trailed 43-20 with 11 minutes left when the Lady Vikes began to pull back in it. A three-point play by Carla Latham started the spurt.
Another Latham three-point play cut the lead down to 13 at 49-36 with 5:21 left. The Lady Warriors, however, steadied their ship by getting baskets from Ashley Flint to hold off the advance.
Flint knocked down six shots in the second half and finished with a team high 14 points.
Kelly Willis and Chantay Frazier helped give the Lady Warriors their big 33-16 halftime lead by combining for 23 points. The pair finished with 13 apiece. Mystie Dale chipped in 10.
Latham led Warren Central with 13 points. The Lady Vikings defeated Newton 46-32 to reach the gold medal game. Shameka Montgomery scored 11 points for the Lady Vikes.
Choctaw Central 50
Meridian 46 (0T)
Wilson said the big rally at the end of regulation may have had more to do with the Lady Warriors winning gold than anything else.
Meridian, which won Pool I with a 5-0 record, led 23-16 at the half.
Free throw shooting, though, proved to be the difference. The Lady Warriors made 11-of-16 from the stripe in the second half compared to Meridian's 3-of-6 mark.
Kelly Willis paced Choctaw Central scoring both of the Lady Warrior baskets in overtime. She also made 7-of-8 free throws to finish with 17 points.
Mystie Dale had 13 points and Chantay Frazier added 11.
Meridian's 6-foot power post in Courtney Wade was held to just 10 points. Shannon Lloyd led Meridian with 13 points and Alexis Clemons added 12.
Meridian and Newton shared the bronze medal for reaching the medal round.