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Old foes to meet for girls 4A South title

By By Dale McKee / EMG sports writer
Feb. 28, 2004
LAUREL The Northeast Jones Lady Tigers and Wayne County will battle for a fourth time this season.
The stakes will be much higher for this game. The teams will battle for the South State Class 4A championship at Northeast Jones tonight. Tipoff is slated for 7:30.
Northeast busted out to an early lead on Mendenhall on Friday and beat their Region 5-4A rivals 68-54. Wayne County fell behind early against Bay St. Louis but took control in the third period and defeated the defending state champs 56-50, setting up the rematch.
Bay St. Louis and Mendenhall meet at 6 p.m. for third place. Only the top three teams advance to Jackson for the overall 4A state tournament.
The winner of the South State championship gets a bye next week and will not play until the following week in Jackson. The loser will play at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
NE Jones 68
Mendenhall 54
Northeast jumped out to a first quarter lead and led 22-3 late in the opening period. The Lady Tigers from Mendenhall closed the period with a scoring
burst but still trailed the Lady Tigers from Northeast 25-9 at the end of the quarter.
Northeast opened the second period with a 5-0 run and led 30-9 before MHS came back with a 10-0 run that put the Simpson County school back in the ballgame.
Mendenhall then went on a 10-0 run to begin the second period and closed the Northeast lead to 30-19. The half ended with Northeast leading 41-33.
Kim Lewis and Krisitn Blackledge led the home team in scoring in the opening half. Lewis had 16 points at the break and Blackledge had tallied 10 points.
Northeast outscored Mendenhall 15-11 in the final period to punch their ticket to Jackson.
McKenzie led Northeast with 20 points while Lewis netted 16 points. Blackledge scored 14 points while Taphne Jackson added seven points. Michelle Taylor led Mendenhall with 19 points.
Wayne County 56
Bay St. Louis 50
Wayne trailed most of the first quarter, and Bay held an 18-7 late in the opening eight minutes.
Wayne was down 29-20 with 2:25 to play in half then went on a run of 8-4 using a full-court press to cut lead to five at half. Ole Miss signee Ratassia Worsham hit 11 points in the second quarter for the Lady War Eagles.
Tamara Reed hit a three-pointer to begin the second half and took a 36-28, but Bay St. Louis never scored again in third quarter. Wayne scored 16 points with Worsham hitting for 6 and Keri Jones scoring 5 points.
In the final quarter, Wayne led by 50-41 with 5:20 to play but baskets by Parker and Thomas cut the lead to 52-48 with 2:42 to play.
Worsham hit four free throws in the final 53 seconds to seal the game for Wayne.
Worsham led the Lady War Eagles (27-5) with 29 points. Jones added 11. Destiny Parker had 16 and Felicia Thomas15 for Bay, 26-6.