Lawrence Co. girls win tourney

Published 11:01 pm Tuesday, February 16, 2010

PORT GIBSON-The Lawrence County Lady Cougars defeated the NorthPike Lady Jaguars 54-44 Monday night, earning the Division 7-4ATournament championship. LCHS never trailed in the game, outscoringNorth Pike 17-8 in the first period, and then playing throughsecond half foul trouble, to earn the win.

Lawrence County had earned the Division 7-4A regular season title10 days earlier by beating North Pike at LCHS. North Pike won thefirst meeting between the two teams on its home floor.

“The girls did a great job,” said fifth-year Lady Cougar coachVicki Rutland. “Mary Margaret (McLaurin) was out sick and we gotinto some pretty serious foul trouble, but Candice (McDuffey) andKatie (Parrish) gave us some quality minutes that got us throughit.

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“I’m so proud of this team. Winning the regular season and thetournament is quite an accomplishment. I hope we can keep it goingfor a while.”

The win pushed Lawrence County’s record to 23-6 on the season.North Pike, coached by Lance Golmon, fell to 17-8. Both teamsearned the right to host elimination playoff games on Wednesdaynight.

Tiaria Griffin led Lawrence County with 15 points, and KahataraTaylor added 14. Alli Harris had 9.

Olivia Kennedy almost single-handedly kept North Pike in the game,scoring 20 of the Lady Jaguars’ 44 points.

After jumping out to the early lead, Lawrence County led 28-19 athalftime. North Pike, powered mostly by Kennedy, trimmed the leaddown to 6 points in the third quarter as LCHS battled foul trouble,but the Lady Jags never fully rebounded from their slowstart.

“We’re awfully happy to be at home Wednesday,” said Rutland, whocoached Northeast Jones to a state 4A title before moving toLawrence County. “We’d love to have a little more prep time, butwe’ll try to make the best of it.”

Monday’s tournament finals were originally scheduled for lastFriday, but were pushed back because of the snowy weather thatclosed schools.

Lawrence County will host Newton County at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Thewinner of Wednesday’s games will advance to the South Mississippi4A tournament, at Raymond which begins on Friday.