Alyssa Davis (14) drives to the basket for a score.
Alyssa Davis (14) drives to the basket for a score.
 The Choctaw Central Lady Warriors begin their post season quest Thursday when they enter the Region 5-3A basketball tournament.

The Lady Warriors drew a first round bye and have already qualified for the Class 3A state tournament. They will play the winner between Southeast Lauderdale and Kemper County at 4 p.m. The tournament is being held at Philadelphia High School.

The Lady Warriors come into this week with a 24-3 record. They are ranked No. 1 in a statewide poll of Class 3A girls teams, and No. 4 among all teams in the state. The Lady Warriors are seeking to return to the Class 3A championship game.

The Lady Warriors wrapped up first place in the region for the regular season last week as they avenged their only region loss against Forest, 77-53. To win the region, they had to beat Forest by 11 and they took care of that spread.

Leading 14-13 after the first quarter, the Lady Warriors outscored Forest 17-13 in the second quarter to go up 31-26 at the break. Choctaw Central outscored Forest 19-15 in the third quarter to carry a 50-41 lead into the fourth quarter. There, they assured that they win by more than 11 as the Lady Warriors outscored the Lady Bearcats 20-11.

Kaedre Denson scored 20 points to lead the Lady Warriors while Darien Tubby and Kyannah Grant both scored 14 points.

Earlier in the week, the Lady Warriors crushed rival Southeast Lauderdale 79-43. The Lady Warriors jumped out to a 51-24 halftime lead and were never challenged. Denson led with 22 points while Maleigha Joe, Tubby and Kyannah Grant all scored 10 points.

“We are playing well right now,” Coach Bill Smith said. “This is the time of year where you need to be at your best. We just need go out and play our best each night.”

On the other side of the bracket, Forest comes in as the No. 2 team. They will play the winner of the Philadelphia-Choctaw County elimination game Thursday at 7 p.m.

The winners of the Thursday games will play for the tournament championship on Friday night starting at 7 p.m. The losers play in the consolation at 4 p.m. But all four will advance to the state tournament.

 

Lady Tornadoes

The Philadelphia girls split a pair of games last week as they wrapped up their regular season. The Lady Tornadoes dropped a 49-44 decision to Choctaw County while they defeated West Lauderdale 49-47.

Nia Luckett scored 21 points in the Lady Tornadoes against Choctaw County. The Lady Tornadoes trailed 29-13 at the half. Philadelphia fought back, outscoring the Lady Chargers 31-20 in the second half but couldn’t overtake them.

West Lauderdale led the Lady Tornadoes 26-22 at the half. The Lady Tornadoes battled back to cut West’s lead to 34-33. Then they outscored the Lady Knights 16-13 to take the win. Tyesha Cole led Philadelphia with 12 points while Luckett scored 11.

 

Boys bracket

Kemper County enters the boys bracket as the No. 1 seed while Southeast Lauderdale is the No. 2 seed. Both teams received first round byes and have qualified for the State Class 3A boys tournament.

The tournament opened Tuesday with two elimination games.  Choctaw County played Choctaw Central with the winner taking on Kemper County Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. Philadelphia played Forest with the winner advancing to play Southeast Lauderdale.

 

Tornadoes

The Philadelphia boys took a 50-48 win over Choctaw County last week.

The Tornadoes led 18-6 after the first quarter and held on for the win. Leading 26-22 at the half, Philadelphia built up a 45-37 edge going into the final quarter. There, they held on for the win. Stetson Moore led with 23 points and Javon Boler added 18 points.

The Tornadoes dropped a 56-40 decision to West Lauderdale in the season finale. Moore scored 12 points and Boler added 11 points.

 

Warriors

Choctaw Central split a pair of region games in the final week of the season. The Warriors lost to Southeast Lauderdale 51-37 and then defeated Forest 56-45.

Brias Bell led the Warriors with nine point in their loss to Southeast Lauderdale. The Tigers took a 27-22 halftime lead and held on for the win.

Dylan Nickey scored 18 points to lead the Warriors past Forest. Choctaw Central took a 27-20 halftime lead on the Bearcats and pulled away in the second half. Tiger Briscoe added 12 points and Dillon Farmer scored 11.