Lady Warriors celebrate 6th state title
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 6:00 PM
JACKSON - The Choctaw Central Lady Warriors are state basketball champions once again.
Choctaw Central's Reese Tubby (right), goes after a loose ball against Amanda Elzy's Kimberly Green on Saturday, March 11 in the MHSAA C Spire State Basketball Championships at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.
Choctaw Central made it look easy Saturday morning in the Mississippi Coliseum as they blew past Amanda Elzy 75-42 in the finals of the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s Class 3A Girls State tournament.
It marked the sixth state championship for the Lady Warriors who last won the Class 3A state championship in 2005. The Lady Warriors have also won state championships in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004.
“When the season started, we expected to be in the finals in the end,” said point guard Darien Tubby who was named the C-Spire Player of the Game with 18 points and eight assists. “I’m so proud of my team and this championship. We knew we were going to win it. We just had to take care of business.”
Amanda Elzy was a bit of an unknown for the Lady Warriors. They knocked off defending champion Booneville 64-63 in the semifinals and entered the championship game with only one loss on the season. The Lady Warriors advanced to the finals on Wednesday morning with a 55-40 victory over New Site.
“We knew they were a good team because they made it to the finals,” Coach Bill Smith said. “But we came in here to play our game. We were prepared. We told them not to let up.”
They didn’t and there was nothing Amanda Elzy could do to stop them.
Kyarrah Grant scored the first goal and Tubby followed with three straight goals to put Choctaw Central up 8-0 with 6:26 left in the first quarter. Kyannah Grant followed with a three point shot and a field goal to make it 13-2 with 5:10 left. It went on as the Lady Warriors took a 23-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Choctaw Central used three scoring surges in the second period to build a 55-23 half time lead. There was seven answered points scored by Tubby, Sarah Allen Kyannah Grant and Reese Tubby which put the Lady Warriors up 31-18 with 5:24 left in the period. Later, Kyannah Grant, Darien Tubby and Reese Tubby all put in 12 unanswered points to make it 44-20 with 1:54 remaining.
Amanda Elzy scored a field goal and made a free throw. Then the Lady Warriors scored 11 unanswered points to close out the second quarter with a 32-point lead.
With the issue all but settled, Smith froze the ball for most of the second half and let his bench enjoy playing in the Big House. The Lady Warriors carried a 69-31 lead into the final quarter.
The first ream started the fourth quarter and played keep away for two or three minutes. Then Smith pulled the starters, one at a time, so the crowd could give them a just ovation.
Kyannah Grant scored 15 points while Kyarrah Grant added 11 points. Kaedra Denson had eight rebounds and eight points. Sarah Allen scored nine points.
The Lady Warriors have been regulars at the Coliseum over the past eight or nine years and played for the championship last season. Coach Smith said you look for them to be back next year.
“We have a good nucleus coming back and several young girls coming up so we should be ok,” Smith said. “This never gets old. We’ll go back to work in a couple of weeks and start preparing for next season.”
The Lady Warriors conclude the season with a 31-3 record while Amanda Elzy finished with a 29-2 mark.
Lady Warriors 55
New Site 40
The Lady Warriors advanced to the finals of the Girls State Class 3A basketball tournament with a 55-40 victory over New Site Wednesday morning in the semifinal game.
Choctaw Central led 11-8 after the first quarter. The Lady Warriors would outscore New Site 19-10 in the second quarter to go up 30-18 at the half. Choctaw Central increased its lead in the third quarter and took a 45-26 advantage into the final eight minutes of play. They held on for the win.
Denson paced the Lady Warriors with 11 rebounds, 10 points and seven blocked shots. Tubby scored 13 points and Sarah Allen added 11 for the Lady Warriors.