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Newton eliminates Lady Hornets

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / Loyd Star's Jordan Shelby (22) and McKenzie Smith (5) team up to apply defensive pressure on Newton's Myja McNichols (34) under the basket Friday night in girls' Class 2A state playoff action.

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / Loyd Star’s Jordan Shelby (22) and McKenzie Smith (5) team up to apply defensive pressure on Newton’s Myja McNichols (34) under the basket Friday night in girls’ Class 2A state playoff action.

The Loyd Star Lady Hornets suffered a heart-breaking, 59-47 season-ending loss to the Newton Lady Tigers Friday night in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.

The Lady Hornets conclude their season with a 22-2 record overall, but finished unbeaten at 10-0 in Region 7-2A action to win the division crown.

Lady Tigers 59, Lady Hornets 47 

Newton came out with a strong defensive push to claim an early 14-6 lead.

In the second, both schools traded baskets with Newton winning the scoring spree with a 13-12 run to take a 27-18 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, the Lady Hornets dominated with a 16-7 surge to tie the game at 34-34 at the end of the period.

Newton reclaimed control of the game with a 6-0 run in the first minute of the final quarter. The Lady Tigers outscored Loyd Star 25-13 in the fourth to eliminate the Lady Hornets from the playoffs.

“This was a tough, physical battle until the very end,” said Loyd Star coach Gene “Moochie” Britt. “The girls fought hard throughout the game and they did a great job fighting back in the third quarter to tie the game up. In the fourth, Newton’s defensive pressure just took us out of our game early and we could not recover in time. Overall, I was very pleased with the girls’ effort. I am very proud of our accomplishments we had this season and we have nothing to be ashamed about.

“I would also like to thank the fans and the students for coming out tonight to show their support,” said Britt.

The Lady Hornets had four players to score in double figures as McKenzie Smith led the team with 11 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Shelby provided a double-double performance of 10 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. Hannah Dickerson chipped in 10 points, eight rebounds and had three blocked shots. Lydia Britt contributed 10 points. Toni Banks scored three points and had three assists. Caylee Yarborough added two points, and Faith Bergeron finished with one points

Rajah Hodges paced the Lady Tigers’ offense with 19 points. Autumn Taylor contributed 18 points. Vivica Ardd and Myja McNichols netted seven points each, Nia McCalphia scored six points, and McKinley Ware had two points.