Gardner ends prep career on big note
By By Rod Walker / special to The Star
July 18, 2003
CLINTON Four months after a heartbreaking loss to Ripley in the Class 3A finals, West Lauderdale's Kristina Gardner got a bit of redemption Thursday night.
Gardner's steal and assist to Hancock's Devin Necaise with 3.4 seconds remaining gave the South squad a thrilling 76-74 win over the North in the Mississippi Sports Medicine All-Star game at the A.E. Woods Coliseum.
The entire South team seemed to be determined after falling behind 25-18 in the first half. LaToya Anderson of Laurel hit a jumper with seven minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the half to spark a 13-2 run by the South.
The teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the half as the South took a 39-37 lead into the locker room.
The South went on an 8-0 run midway through the second half to take a seemingly commanding 61-50 lead. The North, led by University of Kentucky signee Ida Edwards, roared back with a 14-5 run of its own to pull to within two at 66-64. An Edwards free throw with 2:38 remaining tied the game, which see-sawed back and forth the rest of the way.
Latoya Carson of Long Beach, the game's Most Valuable Offensive player, tied the game for the final time with her two free throws with 9.2 seconds left before Gardner's steal.
Carson led the South in scoring with 17 points with 10 of those coming in the second half. Anderson scored ten points and had five rebounds. Newton's Kotreece Bender hit a three-pointer for her only basket.
The South now holds a 20-19 lead in the series.
North Boys 115
The North raced out to a 23-6 lead and never looked back in their easy win over the South. It was the most lopsided victory in the history of the all-star game.
Noxubee County's Omar Conner scored 18 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Ames of Wingfield led all scorers with 21 points and was named the games best defensive player.
West Lauderdale's Calvin Moore started for the South but did not score.