Lawrence County girls reach 7-4A championship game

Published 8:56 pm Friday, February 11, 2011

MONTICELLO – The Lawrence County Lady Cougars roared into thefinals of the Division 7-4A Basketball Tournament, beating NorthPike 56-44 in semifinal action Thursday. More importantly, the winearned the Lady Cougars the right to host a first-round South Stateplayoff game on Monday night.

The Lawrence County boys weren’t so fortunate, falling to CrystalSprings, 60-47. Also winning on Thursday were the Columbia girls’and boys’ teams, both winners over Port Gibson. The Columbia boyswon by a 53-51 score, and the Lady Wildcats handled Port Gibson66-54.

All four of the Thursday’s winners earned both a trip to thetournament finals as well as the home playoff game next week. Thosewho lost on Thursday will play in Friday’s consolation games, andthose teams will be forced to go on the road for their firstplayoff games.

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The Lady Cougars got 25 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 stealsfrom junior standout Tiaria Griffin as they beat rival North Pikefor the third time this season.

The Lady Jaguars were led by Kaylan Hughes, who scored 15. LawrenceCounty improved to 22-7 on the campaign, while North Pike fell to19-8.

“We’re obviously very pleased to be at home Monday,” said LadyCougar coach Vicki Rutland. “As much as we’d like to win thedivision championship tomorrow, tonight’s game was the biggest onethis week. We desperately wanted that playoff game at our house, infront of our people.”

Should Rutland’s Lady Cougars win their Monday first-round game,Lawrence County is slated to host the South Mississippi 4ATournament, which will run next Thursday through Saturday.

Columbia 66, Port Gibson 54

The second girls’ game was closer than the final score indicates.Port Gibson cut Columbia’s lead to 1 point, at 53-52, early in thefourth quarter. Port Gibson went stone cold after that however,scoring only 1 point after that.

Nettie Lewis, who shared division MVP honors with Lawrence County’sTiaria Griffin, scored 17 to lead Columbia. Kim Lee added 16.

Port Gibson’s girls got 18 points from Rajee McDonald and 15 fromAndreshae Spiller.

 C. Springs 60, Lawrence 47  

In boys’ action, in the final game of the night, Crystal Springswas without injured division MVP Roman Lofton. Undaunted, theTigers got big nights out of big men Gavin Allen and ChristopherLawrence. Allen finished with 21 points, and Lawrence had 18.

The game was tied at 36-36 after three quarters, but LawrenceCounty went cold in the fourth, while Allen took over the game.Antonio Batiste led the Cougars with 14 points, and Brandon Danielsadded 13.

Columbia 53, Port Gibson 51

In the earlier boys’ game, Columbia got 19 points from Don Newton,and 13 from Jaborus Luter, to edge Port Gibson.

The Blue Wave Fighting Sharks got 15 points from JohnnyWashington.