Followers of the Neshoba Central girls basketball team know how Coach Fred Morris stresses the importance of playing tough defense.

To paraphrase Morris' philosophy, a team might not be having a good shooting night but they can always play good defense. And this past week, the Lady Rockets took that to the extreme as they took two Region 3-5A victories, beating Germantown 47-41 and Ridgeland 26-25. Now 3-2 in the region, Neshoba Central closes out their region schedule Friday when they host Canton High School. The Lady Tigers come in ranked No. 3 among Class 5A schools.

"I'm very pleased with the way we are playing defense," Coach Morris said. "But we have been able to score. We are going to have to work on our shooting game before the district tournament starts."

Leading 12-6 over Germantown after the first quarter, the Lady Rockets outscored the Lady Mavericks 15-9 in the second quarter to go up 27-15 at the half. Germantown would outscore Neshoba Central 26-20 in the second half but the Lady Rockets held on for the victory.

Katlyn Duke scored 15 points to lead the Lady Rockets while Hannah Williams added 12.

Ridgeland held a 10-9 lead at the half of their game with Neshoba Central. The Rockets led 24-18 going into the final quarter and held on to the victory while only scoring two points during the final eight minutes of play. Danisha Marshall led Neshoba Central with eight points.

The Lady Rockets enter the week with a 10-7 record.

The Neshoba Central boys split a pair of games last week, defeating Germantown 78-66 and then losing to Ridgeland 58-47.

Germantown led 20-11 after the first quarter. Neshoba Central fought back to cut the lead to 35-31 at the half. The Rockets led 49-48 heading into the final quarter and then outpointed the Mavericks 29-18 in the final eight minutes of play to claim the win. TJ Benn led the Rockets with 25 points while Gary Willis and Cheyton York both added 15 points and Grant Willis scored 10.

The Rockets stayed close to the region leading Ridgeland Titans but could not close in for the win. The Titans hit 17 free throws during the game and that proved to be the difference. Benn scored 18 points to lead Neshoba Central was Grant Willis added 10.

Now the Rockets look forward to the Canton game on Friday as they try to even their region record to 3-3.

"It's a big region game for us," Coach Jerry Byrd said. "Right now, we could finish second or third in the region and a win would clinch it."

Neshoba Central enters the week with a 14-5 record. The Rockets will play at Choctaw Central on Saturday.