By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
Pam Winstead wasn’t devastated following her team’s 63-37 loss to Class 5A Neshoba Central in the Philadelphia Classic on Saturday. In fact, she said that game may be what her team needs to go as far as possible in the postseason this year.
“I scheduled this game so that they would have some good competition, I didn’t schedule it to win it,” said Winstead, head coach of the Noxapater High School Lady Tigers. “We wanted to play some good competition because we plan on playing further than the district tournament and we need to know what other teams look like. Now we know.”
Despite the lopsided final score the Lady Tigers — which entered the week with an 11-1 record and No. 2 ranking in MHSAA Class 1A in the state by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger — had its chances to challenge the Lady Rockets. Noxapater cut the Neshoba Central lead to 31-20 early in the third quarter, but made only three of 12 free throws in a crucial three-minute stretch in the their quarter and failed to convert on other scoring opportunities.
“We missed some wide open shots under the goal and the majority of our free throws and that is just fundamental basketball,” Winstead said. “That’s not our normal game. I don’t know what it was, but we just couldn’t get it together.”
The Noxapater boys and girls were set to visit East Oktibbeha on Tuesday before hosting West Oktibbeha on Friday. The Tigers and Lady Tigers will then host West Lowndes on Jan. 21, visit Louisville on Jan. 24 and McAdams on Jan. 25.
The Lady Tigers picked up a pair of wins last week, beating Philadelphia 56-49 and East Oktibbeha 84-21.
Senior Breanna Glass scored 16 points to lead Noxapater in the win over Philly, while Kiera Phillips had 14 points and seven rebounds and Brittany Triplett and Hanna Hamilton and 12 points each. Triplett led the team with nine rebounds, while Phillips and Hamilton had seven each and Treasure Lynch came up with seven steals.
Hamilton poured in 29 points for Noxapater in the win over East Oktibbeha, while Phillips scored 14, Triplett 13, Lynch 12 and Trekena Carter seven.Triplett led the Lady Tigers against Neshoba Central with 10 points, while Lynch had nine and Hamilton and Phillips scored six each.
The Noxapater boys dropped a 61-28 decision to Philadelphia. No other information was reported on the game. Also, no score was reported for the Tigers Friday night game with East Oktibbeha.