North Pike guard leads All-Area team

Published 5:00 am Monday, April 12, 2004

Junior point guard Britta Stephens of North Pike has known aboutbasketball all of her life. Her father, John P. Stephens, coachesthe North Pike Lady Jaguars.

This year, a young North Pike squad finished the 2003-04 seasonwith the best record ever, going 29-6. The Lady Jaguars finishedrunners- up in the Division 7-3A Tournament, advanced from theSouth State tourney and played in the State Tournament inJackson.

Stephens, who stands 5-foot-7, finished the season averaging12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.

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For her accomplishments, Stephens has been named as the MostValuable Player and Miss Basketball on The Daily Leader’s 2004 AllArea Girls Basketball Team.

Other players named to All-Area Team are Phenicia Taylor fromNorth Pike, Carley Clayton and Jackie Stowe from Copiah Academy,Jasmine Patterson from McComb and Victoria Hunt from FranklinCounty.

The dream team, composed of players outside of Lincoln County,was selected by the DL’s sports staff with input provided by highschool and college coaches.

Stephens enjoys playing for her father. There’s not too muchpressure.

“It’s pretty good most of the time,” smiled Stephens. “It’s nota lot of pressure.”

Coach Stephens is proud of Britta and recognizes the shootingskills she brings to the team. “She shoots threes real well andopen jumpers.”

Stephens was pleased by what her team accomplished thisyear.

“I thought we had a good season,” said Stephens. “No oneexpected us to go as far as we did. We worked real hard. I ‘m proudof what we did this year.”

Stephens acknowledged she has learned to shoot the ballsuccessfully and move it around the floor to her teammates.

“I shoot the ball well,” added Stephens. “I can find myteammates and get the ball to them.”

Phenicia Taylor (5-7, soph.) used her floor skills to help NorthPike to the state playoffs. Taylor averaged 13.8 points, 4.8rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

“She has really improved,” said Coach Stephens. “Her ballhandling has improved. Her willingness to push the ball to the goalis better.”

Carley Clayton (5-5, sr.) is a repeater from the 2003 DreamTeam. Playing for Copiah Academy coach Mitch Mitchell, Claytonaveraged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3 steals per game. The LadyColonels were 31-13 on the season and advanced to the MPSA OverallTournament.

Clayton played for the South squad on the MPSA All-Star teamthis year. She was also named to the division team. She has beeninvited to try out with the Mississippi College Lady Choctaws.

“Carley had a good year,” said Mitchell. “She played with anankle injury from playing softball for most of the year. She washer typical self. She played hard and defended well. She shot thethree real well.”

Jackie Stowe (5-9, sr.) excelled on the softball field as wellon the basketball court for the Copiah Lady Colonels. Stoweaveraged 12 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3 .5 steals per game.

“Jackie played real well,” said Coach Mitchell. “She played postfor us. She had good perimeter skills, too.”

Like Clayton, Stowe also played for the South team on the MPSAAll-Star team. She plans to play softball on the college level andhas signed with Copiah-Lincoln Community College as a pitcher.

Jasmine Patterson (5-10, sr.) averaged 12 points, 8 rebounds, 3steals, 3 assists and 2 blocked shots per game her final year forMcComb Lady Tiger coach Carolyn Whitehead. McComb was 26-6 on theseason.

“She hit a lot of three-pointers for us,” said Whitehead. “Beinga 5-10 guard was a key. She could just about shoot over anyoneelse. She was our best outside shooter. She is a good kid. She hasa lot of court sense.”

Patterson will be playing college basketball at NorthwestShoals, Ala.

Victoria Hunt (5-7, soph.) is make a real impress this year forthe Franklin County Lady Bulldogs under coach Charles Moore. Thisyear, Hunt averaged 20.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 steals pergame.

“Victoria improved a lot from her freshmen year last season tonow,” said Franklin County coach Charles Moore. “She’s one of ourbest shooters on the team.”