It was a busy week for all four Marion County girls basketball teams, participating in a variety of tournaments with an assortment of results.
East Marion (6-6) had the best showing of the quartet, winning both of its matchups in the McComb Coca-Cola Holiday Tournament, though the Lady Eagles did not participate in the third and final day of action on the hardwood.
The Lady Eagles rebounded from a rough first quarter, trailing 11-9 heading into the second, to outscore Amite County 49-21 the rest of the way for a 58-32 win last Thursday.
Amber Willis had a career-high 20 points on 10-of-14 shooting to go along with nine rebounds, while Tytianna Porter had 18 points, 11 rebounds and five steals for the Lady Eagles. RaQquiya Haynes chipped in eight points, and Dontajha Stepney added six points, five assists and three steals.
The following night, East Marion carried over that momentum, holding Wilkinson County scoreless throughout the entire first quarter as it cruised to a 48-19 beat down.
Porter had a dominant performance with 16 points and nine rebounds —five offensive— on 5-of-6 shooting. The entire East Marion team did a great job on the offensive glass, hauling in 18 offensive boards, setting up countless second chance opportunities. Willis also had five offensive rebounds to go along with eight points and nine total rebounds.
The Lady Eagles returned to the court Friday night, taking on Stone on the road, but results were unavailable at press time. They will host Lumberton Tuesday night at 6.
Columbia (6-6), meanwhile, took on some elite competition in the Hattiesburg Christmas Tournament and lost to the host team to kick off the tournament Thursday morning.
The Lady Wildcats were held to just 28 points by Hattiesburg, a season low, as Jaleel Hartfield had eight points, Christina James had six and Demetryana Averett had five.
Columbia’s offense improved on the second day of the tournament but fell to Greenville 48-38 as 18 turnovers took their toll. Tyra Conerly led the Lady Wildcats with 10 points, while James just missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds and Hartfield also had nine points.
Despite a slow start Saturday, the Lady Wildcats finally got things rolling Saturday, exploding for 67 points in a 20-point win over Jefferson Davis County.
Hartfield put the two off days behind her, scoring a game-high 20 points, while Jasmine Sheppard added 14 and Cortasia Robinson had 12 on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting.
Columbia played West Marion Friday night, but results were unavailable at press time. The Lady Wildcats will host Jeff Davis Tuesday night at 6.
Columbia Academy and West Marion both participated in the Columbia Academy Holiday Tournament last weekend with the Lady Cougars falling five points shy of keeping the championship trophy in house.
The two Marion County squads met the opening night of the tournament last Thursday, and the Lady Cougars used a strong start to cruise to a 49-26 win over West Marion.
Friday afternoon the Lady Trojans found themselves in a big hole early to Brookhaven Academy that they couldn’t make their way out of, losing 61-52, despite outscoring Brookhaven 19-9 in the fourth quarter.
In a matchup that ultimately decided the champion of the tournament Friday night, East Rankin Academy edged CA 44-39.
West Marion couldn’t hang with East Rankin, which sealed the championship with a 53-28 victory, either Saturday afternoon. The Lady Cougars rebounded from the tough loss, however, on Saturday with a 43-29 win over Brookhaven to seal second place.
The Lady Cougars were on the road Thursday night at Simpson Academy (results unavailable) amd will head to Amite, La., Saturday night to take on Oak Forest Academy.
After their Friday night matchup with Columbia, the Lady Trojans will head to Tylertown Tuesday to take on the Lady Chiefs at 6 p.m.
Pictured Above: Victoria Pace fights off a scrappy Brookhaven Academy defender Saturday night during the annual Columbia Academy Holiday Tournament. | Photo by Benjamen Sanford