The North Pike girls know they are playoff bound, and with only so many games left in the regular season, it is now about playoff positioning and building momentum for the postseason. The Jaguars checked both of those boxes Tuesday night following a 45-38 win over Lawrence County.
Even though her team fought to get the win, North Pike head coach Laura Holman was disappointed in the way that her girls played for most of the contest.
“We found a way to win,” she said. “Turnovers, bad shot selection, the defensive intensity was not there. We really didn’t play like us until probably the last four minutes of the game. We found a way on a really, really bad night.”
The woes for the Jaguars (12-7, 6-3) began early on as their offense struggled to make shots. The lone points of the opening quarter came from one field goal each from Amari Davis and Alaia Crossely. Meanwhile, the defense couldn’t slow down the Cougars early on, giving up 12 first quarter points.
Things began to turn around for North Pike in the second quarter. Davis began her big night from beyond the 3-point arch, making the first of four from that range helping the Jaguars dig themselves from a hole. Gabbi Simmons added one of her own as the Jaguars cut the Cougar lead down to five at 24-19 at the half.
Davis picked up where she left off in the first half with another 3-pointer, complementing three field goals from senior Jamey McDaniel.
In the fourth quarter, the combination of Davis and Gabby James proved vital for the Jaguars, who came back and held off the Cougars to seal the victory.
Davis finished with 19 points in the win.
McComb girls lose heartbreaker
Hoping to erase a rare two-game slide, the McComb girls welcomed in a powerful Raymond team Tuesday night. And despite putting up a fight, turnovers plagued the Tigers as they fell to the Rangers 68-64.
“Key turnovers at the wrong time,” McComb head coach Charlton Grey said. “We have to fix that. Maybe there are some things that I need to adjust at practice.”
Both teams got off to strong starts offensively in the first quarter. When the dust settled, the Tigers (12-6, 6-3) trailed by 2.
Another strong quarter from Raymond was out-matched by a rejuvenated McComb squad, who went on a run to close out the second quarter, taking a 35-32 lead at the half.
Kinesha Harris, Deondrea Young and Allaijah Gamble all nailed 3-pointers in the third to power the Tigers, who defensively limited the Rangers to just 8 points in the quarter, all of which came via free throws.
Despite being up 48-40 entering the fourth quarter, the Tigers could not close the deal as they were handed their third consecutive loss.
Young led the Tigers in scoring with 19 points while Chanel Gayden had 16.