Choctaw Central's Meloney Thames (14) threads her away through the Philadelphia defenders to score.
Choctaw Central's Meloney Thames (14) threads her away through the Philadelphia defenders to score.
The Choctaw Central Lady Warriors used a well-rounded attack to take a 74-63 victory over Olive Branch in the Booneville Classic.

The Lady Warriors went 3-0 last week. They picked up a Region 5-3A victory last Tuesday by beating Forest 64-58. On Thursday, they defeated cross-town rival Philadelphia 62-47. Choctaw Central, the No. 2 ranked team in the state according to Max Prep, entered the week with a 22-1 record.

How good is this year’s Lady Warrior team as they seek a third straight state championship? Each year, Coach Bill Smith lines up the best competition he can find for his team in Saturday classic games. With the win over Olive Branch, the Lady Warriors have passed that test as they have also beaten strong teams in Terry, Lafayette and New Site in classic games. And in the Choctaw Central Classic, they defeated No. 1 Pearl, handing the Lady Pirates their only loss.

Choctaw Central’s only loss was a 62-61 double-overtime decision to rival Neshoba Central.

Last year, Olive Branch battled the Lady Warriors down to the wire before Choctaw Central took the victory in the Pontotoc Classic.

But this year, the Lady Warriors began pulling away in the second quarter and took control of the game in the third stanza.

“They tried to press us again,” Coach Bill Smith said. “And I thought we handled it very well. We were able to extend our lead in the third quarter.”

Olive Branch led 26-24 at the end of the first quarter. Choctaw Central outscored Olive Branch 16-11 in the second quarter and led 40-37 at the half.

Choctaw Central extended its lead in the third quarter as they outscored the Lady Conquistadors 16-4 to carry a 56-41 lead into the final quarter. The Lady Warriors held on for the win.

Melanian Jimmie stepped up to lead the Lady Warriors with 15 points. Lyleonia Johnson added 14 points while Tia’Rain Saunders, Meloney Thames and Kaedre’ Denson all scored 13 points.

 



Lady Warriors 64

Forest 58

The Forest girls challenged the Lady Warriors in the first half but could stay with them for four quarter as Choctaw Central took the win.

Forest led 16-15 at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Bearcats outscored Choctaw Central 21-14 in the second quarter and led 37-29 at the half.

The Lady Warriors came back in the third quarter to outscore Forest 10-6. Trailing 43-39 heading into the final quarter, the Lady Warriors outscored the Lady Bearcats 25-15 to take the victory.

Denson led the rally with 31 points and nine rebounds while Thames scored 16.

 

Lady Warriors 62

Philadelphia 47

Choctaw Central spotted the Philadelphia Lady Tornadoes an early 17-2 lead in the first quarter and bounced back to take the win.

The Lady Tornadoes led 19-7 at the end of the first quarter. Choctaw Central outscored Philadelphia 17-9 in the second quarter but trailed 28-24 at the half.

Choctaw Central outscored the Lady Tornadoes 23-10 in the third quarter to go up 47-38 heading into the fourth quarter. They outpointed Philadelphia 15-11 in the fourth quarter to ice the win.

Thames led with 16 points followed by Saunders with 13, Johnson with 12 and Denson with 10.

The Lady Warriors have three games scheduled this week. They were to host Morton on Tuesday, visit Kemper County on Friday and visit Morton for a makeup game on Saturday.