Zamiya Griffin made two free throws with eight seconds left to give the Winona girls basketball team at 26-25 victory over Water Valley last week.
The Lady Tigers led by eight with less than a minute remaining, but Water Valley cut it to 24-22 with two 3-pointers. Griffin’s free throws made it a four-point lead before Water Valley made another 3-pointer at the end.
Tyra Weathersby led Winona with 12 points. Daquariana Wallace connected on five of six free throws and scored nine points. It was a major turnaround from a 55-27 loss to Water Valley in November. Coach Frank Miller said cutting down on turnovers was the key.
“We handled their half court reap. We played better defense and made enough shots to win.”
In another game last week, the Lady Tigers were defeated by Ruleville Central 52-32. Wallace scored 13 points, Weathersby nine and Shamiya Alexander eight.
In games the previous week, the Lady Tigers defeated Eupora 31-19, but lost to Humphreys County 46-35.
“That was probably our best game of the year even though we did not win,” Miller said of the loss to Humphreys County.
Winona led 24-19 at the half, but Humphreys County took control by outscoring Winona15-7 in the third quarter. “They got going and we had a lull,” Miller said.
Wallace led Winona with 11 points.
In an earlier matchup, Humphreys County won by 34 points. “We’re playing much, much better,” Miller said. “We have cut down on turnovers and were getting more balanced scoring.”
Weathersby had 11 points and Wallace 10 in the win over Eupora.
The Tigers were edged by Water Valley 45-42 and lost to Ruleville Central 83-63.
Winona trailed Water Valley by six in the fourth quarter. “We were able to cut it to one, but we were never able to regain the lead,” said Coach Presley Coleman. “We had some careless mistakes. Turnovers killed us. Defensively, we gave up too many offensive rebounds and they were able to capitalize on them.”
James Shelton had 12 points on six of nine shooting, five steals and four assists for the Tigers. Jaiwain Small connected on four of five shots, scored 12 points and had seven rebounds.
Ruleville Central started fast against Winona. “They hit a bunch of 3’s,” Coleman said. “We started out in a zone, then we had to go man.”
Down 44-27 at the half, Winona rallied within four point before Ruleville pulled away, “We expended so much energy getting back in the game,” Coleman said. “Give them (Ruleville) credit. They are a very athletic team and they have guys who can shoot the ball.”
Jalen Daniels led Winona with 18 point and five assists. Shelton scored 14 points.
In games the previous week, the Tigers defeated Eupora 68-35 and lost to Humphreys County 53-51.
Kaleb Rush and Dadarion Small each scored16 points against Eupora. Coleman missed the game with the flu. His assistant, Howard Phillips, ran the team.
Winona led 36-11 at the half. “Eupora made a run in the third, but we withstood it and finished strong Great team win,” Phillips said.
Phillips is 1-0, but is not looking to be a head coach. “I just do it for the kids.”
Winona led Humphreys County by 16 points in the fourth quarter, but let it slip away.
“We blew it,” Coleman said. “We were trying to hold the ball, but we were still getting in a hurry and we had some costly turnovers that ended up costing us the game.”
The Tigers and Lady Tigers played Amanda Elzy Tuesday and finish the regular season with games at Ruleville Friday. Humphreys County will host the Region 3-3A tournament next week. Who the Winona teams play and when will be decided by games this week.