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Lady Hornets dominate North Forrest

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / Loyd Star's McKenzie Smith (5) scores an easy basket Monday night and was fouled by North Forrest's MohGnwy McNaulty (21) on the play in Class 2A girls state playoff action.

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / Loyd Star’s McKenzie Smith (5) scores an easy basket Monday night and was fouled by North Forrest’s Mohaganey McNaulty (31) on the play in Class 2A girls state playoff action.

The Loyd Star Lady Hornets were victorious in the opening round of the Class 2A state playoffs Monday night, clobbering the North Forrest Lady Eagles 71-33 to advance.

“Our defensive pressure was the difference of the game,” said Loyd Star coach Gene “Moochie” Britt. “It caused a lot of problems for North Forrest which created a lot of turnovers and easy points for us offensively. This was a good win for us, but not we must regroup and prepare for a tough Newton team Friday.

“I also like to thank the fans and the student body for coming out to show their support,” said Britt. “It was a great atmosphere for our girls to play in.”

In boys’ action, the Hornets (13-10) were scheduled to play the North Forrest boys today in Hattiesburg, but the game has been postponed until Wednesday at 7 p.m. due to the threat of severe weather.

The Lady Hornets (22-1, 10-0) will resume action Friday as they host the Newton Lady Tigers for second round playoff action at 7 p.m.

Lady Hornets 71, Lady Eagles 33

The Lady Hornets’ strong defensive pressure quickly set the tone as they smothered the Lady Eagles to claim a 16-8 lead in the first quarter. They blasted North Forrest with a 25-5 explosion to take a commanding 41-13 lead into halftime.

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / Loyd Star's Lydia Britt (2) and Jordan Shelby (22) apply defensive pressure on North Forrest's Mohaganey McNaulty (31) in the back court Monday night.

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / Loyd Star’s Lydia Britt (2) and Jordan Shelby (22) apply defensive pressure on North Forrest’s Mohaganey McNaulty (31) in the back court Monday night.

Loyd Star continued to dominate in the second half, outscoring North Forrest 30-20 in to secure the win.

McKenzie Smith sparked the Lady Hornets’ scoring onslaught with a double-double performance of 27 points and 14 rebounds. Jordan Shelby chipped in 11 points and grabbed six rebounds. Toni Banks provided nine points, three rebounds and two steals. Lydia Britt netted five points. Mandy Russell and Hannah Dickerson contributed four points each. Kaylea Smith and Caylee Yarborough scored three points apiece. Katie West and Faith Bergeron finished with two points each. Megan Poole had one point. Dickerson also provided assistance defensively with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.

Jaressa Brooks was the top scoring leader for the Lady Eagles with 20 points. Millenium Earl provided four points. Zariah Bouldin and Jerrica Firle scored points each.