Hot Lady Wildcats earn spot in 3A North State

By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal

The 20-9 Lady Wildcats of Louisville High School have picked the perfect time to go on a five-game winning streak. That sudden surge has earned them a spot as one of eight teams that will be taking part in the MHSAA Class 3A North State Girls Basketball Tournament in Booneville beginning on Thursday night.

Louisville will open play in the event at 8:30 p.m. against traditional power Belmont. A win there would push the Lady Wildcats into the semifinals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of Thursday night’s quarterfinal contest between Kossuth and Cleveland East Side The finals are set for 7 p.m. on Saturday. The top two teams will advance to the MHSAA Class 3A State Tournament at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson on March 8.

“We are elated to have the opportunity to play in the North Half,” said LHS head girls coach Jackie Laine. “It hasn’t been done here in quite a while.”

Lady Wildcats celebrate their division championship.

Lady Wildcats celebrate their division championship.

While the winning streak began with a 48-19 thumping of Aberdeen in the last regular season game of the year, the key wins came last week as LHS swept through the regional tournament played at the Mississippi University for Women with three victories, then rolled to a convincing 73-17 win over visiting Greenville O’Bannon in the play-in round on Monday.

“The girls are taking it one game at a time,” Laine said. “They are taught to not look past our current opponent.”

Louisville opened the district tournament with a 53-23 win over Winona behind a 13-point, 11-rebound performance by Tyesha Davis. Diamond Love scored 18 points for the winners, while Diamond Wraggs notch eight and Kelsey Harrington scored seven points, pulled down six rebounds an dished out five assists for the winners.

The Lady ‘Cats followed that up with a 43-33 win over Kemper County. Tyeisha Griffin led LHS with 12 points and six rebounds, while Miriah Ford had nine points and Davis scored five points to go with 11 rebounds. Love had four points 10 rebounds and six steals for the winners.

Davis had 10 points and 11 rebounds to help power LHS past South Pontotoc 51-37 in the regional tournament finals, while Wraggs scored 12 points to go with nine rebounds and Love and Ford had 10 points of her own.