Lady Pirates overpower LCHS Lady CougarsPublished 1:03pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013
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MONTICELLO – The Pearl Lady Pirates handled the Lawrence County Cougars 59-25 in the Lawrence County Thanksgiving Classic, in the last of seven games played Monday at the LCHS gymnasium. The high-flying Pearl girls, coached by Lacey Kennedy, advanced to 3-2 on the young season. Rebuilding Lawrence County, under veteran mentor Vicki Rutland, fell to 1-5.
As tough of a night as it was for the Lady Cougars, they had a better night the LCHS boys, who didn’t get to play at all on the opening day of the tournament they host. Due to a scheduling snafu that involves Piney Woods, the Cougars supposed opponent, Bogue Chitto, is unable to participate in the two-day affair. Thus, Pat Bridges’ Cougars will play only once, a Tuesday-night date with old rival Mendenhall.
As for the girls’ game, the Lady Cougars gave it the best fight they could against the taller, faster, and more experienced Lady Pirates. With senior center Dakendra Collins, the only Lawrence County returnee with appreciable varsity experience, felled by a knee injury, LCHS was simply outgunned.
“I thought we played with a lot of energy early in the game,” Rutland said. “After that, our lack of success might have gotten the best of us. We can’t allow that to happen. There’s nothing for us to do but fight through this, and keep working to get better. I’m confident that our girls will do that.”
The Lady Cougars aren’t accustomed to losing under Rutland. They’ve advanced to the 4A South State weekend tournament for five straight seasons, an unprecedented feat in Lawrence County girls’ basketball. LCHS advanced to the 4A state title game three seasons ago.
“We’re proud of what this program has accomplished in the past,” Rutland said, “but those seasons have very little to do with this season, and with this team. I want this team-this group of girls – to be the best it can be. It’s not easy, it’s frustrating at times, but we’re working on it.”
Pearl led 18-4 after one quarter, and 32-12 at the half, in cruising to the win. Adriana Horne led the Lady Pirates with 15 points. Tenazhia Hinkson added 10. Haven Johnson led Lawrence County with eight points, and Latasha Rhodes added six. Denisha Dickson and KeErica Mikell each had three rebounds for the Lady Cougars. Rhodes had three steals.
In other tournament action, the Wayne County boys beat Terry 68-61 in the best game of the day. Derrick Thompkins had 21 points for the War Eagles, a perennial 5A contender. The Wayne County girls completed the sweep of Terry with a 45-29 win.
Quitman dominated Mendenhall in both boys’ and girls’ action. In the boys’ game, Quitman won 76-50. Jadarius Avery (19) and Darius Hicks (18) combined for 37 points. The Quitman girls won by a 62-40 margin, as Hailes pumped in 23 points.
Poplarville and East Marion split a double-header in the first action of the day, which started at 10 a.m. The East Marion girls won 36-24, behind Audriana Holland’s 12 points. In boys’ action, Poplarville won by a 78-48 score. Anthony Martin and Emetric Fells led the Hornets with 20 points and 18 points, respectively.
The two-day classic concludes Tuesday with seven more games. Lawrence County will close out the event against Mendenhall, in both girls’ and boys’ action.