Turnovers almost came back to haunt New Albany, but with a big game from Jazmine Spears, the Lady Bulldogs held on for a 43-36 win over Itawamba on Thursday.
“We played very good defense, holding them to 36 points,” coach John Stroud said.
“When you have 35 turnovers and still win by seven, you’re doing something right.”
Itawamba went ahead by seven early in the game preceding an 11-0 run by the Lady ‘Dawgs. Late in the second, free throws by Aaliyah Marshall gave the Lady Indians a one-point lead, 16-15, at the half.
Spears’ contribution was best seen in the third quarter, as the junior scored all of New Albany’s 13 points and opened the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run, going ahead, 35-26.
Itawamba had one last run, led by nine second half points from Laura Coker, but Spears extended New Albany’s lead on the free throw line, making six down the stretch to give the Lady ‘Dawgs their seventh win on the year.
“It’s just a typical after holiday game,” Stroud said. “We’ve been off for two weeks, and we had 35 turnovers. Thank goodness Jazmine had 26 points. That was a good win and it says a lot for us since we were able to give them their third loss.”
Erin Michael Carter had 11 points for New Albany, while Marshall and Coker each finished with nine for Itawamba.
New Albany will play another former division foe on Tuesday, hosting Pontotoc before returning to district play hosting Rosa Fort next Friday.
“I don’t know much about our division this year, and our focus right now is just more on ourselves than who we’re playing,” Stroud. “We’re going to try to improve ourselves and try to be successful in division play.”
Tupelo 58, Hickory Flat 48
Hickory Flat was unable to hold on against Tupelo, falling to the Lady Wave, 58-48, to open the Renasant Bank Ladies Challenge on Thursday.
The Lady Rebels were able to overcome four quick turnovers, and, with seven points from Brianna Reaves, led 17-16 after the first quarter. Tupelo responded, going ahead twice in the second, but Hickory Flat again answered, leading for the final time at the half, 34-32.
Shut down in the third quarter, Tupelo outscored the Lady Rebels, 12-3 in the fourth quarter and made seven of eight free throws to hold on for the win.
Reaves led Hickory Flat with 15 points, followed by 10 points from Amber Thompson.
Jaleigha Polk led Tupelo with 14 points off the bench, while Antoinette Riddle had 13 points.
Hickory Flat played at Potts Camp on Tuesday before hosting West Union for homecoming Friday.