12/11/2013 6:00:00 AM SE Lauderdale slips past Lady Warriors
Choctaw Centralís Melody Jimmie is closely guarded by a Southeast Lauderdale defender Friday during the East Central Community College semifinals. The Lady Tigers won the game, 61-59.
By STEVE SWOGETINSKY Sports Editor
Southeast Lauderdale took the lead in the final seconds Friday as the Lady Tigers defeated rival Choctaw Central 61-59 in the semifinals of the East Central Community College basketball tournament.
Choctaw Central led most of the game and carried a 51-40 lead into the final quarter. But the Lady Tigers battled back to pull within one point - 59-58 - with 2:15 left to play.
Southeast Lauderdale's Chariae Harbin sank a free throw with 1:25 left to tie the game at 59-59. The teams battled for possession, going up and down the court for the final minute. Then with three seconds left, Southeast Lauderdale's Timara Trussell sank the winning goal.
For Choctaw Central, it was a tale of two games. In the first half, it seemed like they could miss as they went up 32-21 at the half. That trend continued through most of the third quarter as the Lady Warriors led 45-32 with 4:10 left. But in the final eight minutes, the Lady Warriors could find the next and Southeast Lauderdale started making its goals.
"We missed some easy goals in the second half," Choctaw Central Coach Bill Smith. "They outscored us 21-8 in the fourth quarter. We didn't handle their pressure very well."
Lashayla McMillan led Choctaw Central with 17 points while Kandace Lasiloo added 13 points.
Choctaw Central opened the tournament with a 52-44 win over Northeast Lauderdale. Shameka Farmer led with 13 points while Kandace Lasiloo added 11.
In the consolation game on Saturday, Choctaw Central dropped a 45-43 decision to Scott Central. McMillan scored 12 points to lead the Lady Warriors while Lasiloo added 10 points.
In the girls championship game, Newton High beat Southeast Lauderdale 64-37. Newton County defeated Newton High School 47-44 to win the boys title.