BY BRADLEY CROW & JOE BUCK COATES
The Wesson Lady Cobras (27-5) were beaten, battered and bruised at the end of Thursday night’s showdown with the Newton Lady Tigers but the smiles washed all that away as the Cobras stole the show with a gutty 62-57 victory in the Class 2A south state tournament.
The Lady Tigers (18-14) used a physically intimidating style of play and roughed up the Lady Cobras on both ends of the floor, but timely shooting and fundamental basketball saved the day for Wesson. Point guard Macie Case poured in a career high 21 points including two 3-pointers to pace the young Lady Cobras to victory.
“They were physical and the refs let them play a bit more tonight,” explained Wesson head coach Hugh Webb. “They played rough and beat our girls down but we shot the ball well throughout the game.”
The Cobras, who trailed by one at the half, used a 20 point third quarter to distance themselves from the Lady Tigers including an off the backboard half-court 3-pointer by Ann Shelby Davis with only 1.8 seconds left in the half. Amazingly, it was set up by a Newton timeout after a made basket that allowed Wesson the chance to draw it up and put the Lady Cobras up by 7 points headed into the final frame.
The Cobras needed every bit of it as the Lady Tigers pulled within 2 points with 2 minutes remaining in the ballgame until the Lady Cobras pulled away with great defense and timely free throw shooting to secure the victory.
“This was great,” commented a happy Macie Case. “The crowd was a big part of this win. I could not believe the fans we had there. It is an awesome feeling and in talking with the other girls we are playing for the Lord and give him all the credit.”
Davis finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Cobras. Shauntay Walker was once again a rebounding machine pulling down 15 boards and racking up 10 points in the win. Guard Ansley Schimmel chipped in 9 points including 3 free throws in the last two minutes to seal the deal and wrap it in blue and white. Case and Schimmel had 3 assists each and Walker threw in 2 blocks.
“These girls do not quit,” stated a proud Webb. “They believe in themselves and they have learned how to depend on each other. I could not be more proud for them.”
Wesson squares off with host Scott Central tonight at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Cobras will then play at 6:00 or 7:30 p.m. Saturday depending on a win or loss Friday evening.
HAZLEHURST ADVANCES AT MORTON
In the South state 3A boys tournament at Morton, the Hazlehurst Indians also took a huge step towards their dreams of playing in the Big House in Jackson, knocking off Wilkinson County 88-54.
Fred Fuller, who has been on fire as of late, led Hazlehurst with 26 points. Gabriel Gray added 17 and Justin Durr and Eric Walker chipped in 10 each.
The Indians roared to a 27-16 lead after one period, relying on their high pressure defense to force turnovers early and often and utlized their high octane offense to convert turnovers into easy points.
By halftime, the Indians had built a comfortable 44-29 lead, and continued to pour it on in the second half. At the end of three periods, Hazlehurst led by 24, at 65-41.
The 6-3A champs never let off the gas in the final period, outscoring Wilkinson 23-13 to earn the 34-point victory.
The next challenge for Hazlehurst is a huge one. The Indians face number one ranked Pass Christian tonight at 7:30.