Live and learn.

That's the attitude Coach Phil Shepard and the Leake Academy Rebelettes are taking after last Saturday's 38-37 loss to Madison-Ridgeland Academy in the Simpson Academy tournament.

The game came down to the final seconds. Leake Academy went up by one point - 37-36 - on a free throw. But MRA got the ball back when the second free throw attempt missed the entire basket. In the action that followed, a foul was called against the Rebelettes. MRA made its two free throws to take the lead and the game was over.

As always, this was a marquee game when these teams meet. Both teams entered the game undefeated. MRA was ranked No. 2 in AAA and Leake Academy was No. 1 in AA.

The Lady Patriots led 11-10 after the first quarter. The Rebelettes came back to outscore MRA 13-12 in the second quarter and the game was tied at 23-23 at the half. The second half was a low scoring defensive struggle that came down to the last second.

"They are hard to score against, and we played very good defense," Leake Academy Coach Phil Shepard said. "It was a hard-fought game. And we learned some things about ourselves. We saw areas where we need to fix and get better. We'll work on some things in practice and we will improve as a team. I think we'll see them again in February."

Anna Evans led the Rebelettes with 16 points and Mary Grace Key added 12 points.

The Rebelettes entered the week with a 17-1 record. Last Friday, they defeated Hillcrest 79-63.

Leake Academy led 18-13 after the first quarter. Hillcrest came back in the second quarter to outscore the Rebelettes 25-22 but Leake led 40-38 at the half. The third quarter was close and Leake Academy carried a 58-52 lead into the fourth quarter. There, the Rebelettes outscored Hillcrest 21-11 in the fourth quarter to claim the win.

Anna Evans led Leake Academy with 29 points. Victoria Sprayberry added 16 points; Katie Webb scored 13; and, Key finished with 11 points.


The Leake Academy boys split two games as well. The Rebels lost 70-66 in Hillcrest on Friday but bounced back to beat Columbia 58-45. The Rebels entered the week with an 11-4 record.

Hillcrest would lead 36-25 at the half. The Cougars outscored Leake Academy 16-15 in the third quarter and led 52-40 going into the final quarter. The Rebels refused to quit as they pointed the Cougars 26-18 in the final eight minutes but fell short.

"It was really a good effort by our boys," Shepard said. "They are really a good team but we didn't give up and played our way back into the game."

Alex Shepard scored 18 points to lead the Rebels while Chipper Jones added 16 points and Tristan Hernandez scored 15.

On the next night, the Rebels defeated Columbia Academy for the second time this season.

"I was really interested in this game to see how far we have come as a team since we played them the last time," Shepard said. "We beat them by six at their place and we were playing on a neutral court this time. Columbia has a really good team but I felt there were things we could work on."

Leading 20-11 after the first quarter, the Rebels saw Columbia Academy battle back to outscore them 20-9. At the half, Leake Academy trailed 31-29.

Leake Academy turned things around in the second half as they outscored Columbia 29-14 in the last two quarters to claim the win. Shepard led the Rebels with 22 points while Chopper Jones added 15 and Hernandez scored 14.

This week

Both Leake Academy teams were to play in the third game of the Simpson tournament on Monday. The Rebels were to play Mendenhall High School while the Rebelettes took on Copiah Academy. On Friday, Leake Academy will play host to Simpson Academy and on Saturday, they will enter the Jackson Prep shootout. The Rebels will play Laurel Christian at 5:45 p.m., and the Rebelettes take on Jackson Prep at 7 p.m.