Photo by Willie Ann Shelton
Ariel Tunstall (10) gets past a Lady Tiger on her drive to the goal Thursday at “The Big House.”

Photos by Willie Ann Shelton
Leekadra Smith (23) tries to keep control of the basketball versus Northeast Jones.

Markayla Walker (11) is surrounded by Lady Tigers.

State tourney • Johnson’s 30 points lead Byhalia past Lady Tigers

The Byhalia Lady Indians came out on top this time around in the Class 4A quarter-finals in Jackson.

Kavacia Johnson scored 30 points, Leekadra Smith 17 and Ariel Tunstall 11 to help the Lady Indians knock off Northeast Jones 74-62 Thurs­day at Mississippi Coli­seum.

Byhalia had lost a year ago in overtime to Quitman in the state’s final eight.

With the win over Northeast Jones last week, coach Jeffrey Williams’ team moved on to the semis. They met fellow District 2-4A member Ripley on Monday of this week in the final four.

The Lady Indians led the Lady Tigers 15-9 with 2:31 left ticking on the first-quarter clock. Smith cashed in a three – the old fashioned way – and Johnson’s steal and bucket put the Lady Indians up 20-14 as time expired in the initial frame.

The Lady Indians then outscored the Lady Tigers 15-12 in the second quarter to grab a halftime advantage of 35-26.

Tunstall and Johnson each hit a two-pointer at the top of the third to stretch the margin. Then Smith cashed in triple threes. At the end of the third, Byhalia had built a comfortable cushion, 55-38.

The Lady Tigers began to claw away in the fourth. They gained 24 more points to Byhalia’s 19 – but not nearly enough for a successful rally.

The Byhalia girls claimed a 12-point victory heading to the semis.

Tiyanna Powell pulled down 10 boards and scored eight points for Byhalia, which improved to 22-7 on the season. Also, Johnson had seven assists and three steals. Tunstall had five rebounds, two assists and a steal.

For Northeast Jones, Gabrielle Bunch had 25 points, six rebounds, an assist and three steals. DaKeiya Cooley scored 13 points, one assist, two steals, and four rebounds.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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