Gentry Girls 40, CHS 38
The Cleveland High School Lady Wildcats came up just short of their goal of reaching the state tournament in Jackson as they lost to the Gentry High School Lady Rams in a defensive battle in the semifinals of the 4A North Half Girls Basketball Playoffs Friday night at Itawamba AHS in Fulton.
Cleveland took a slim 17-16 lead at halftime. The Lady Wildcats and Lady Rams continued to duel it out in the second half, but the Lady Rams battled back to win the game. Friday night’s contest was the fourth meeting between the two teams with Gentry winning three of them. Cleveland finished its season at 20-13.
“We know each other so well after having played them as much as we have,” Cleveland High head coach Jenny McCullough said. “It came down to make plays. It was a really good game.”
Shooting guard McKinnon Skeen, Cleveland’s only senior, led the Lady Wildcats with 26 points.
McCullough said the girls really exceeded her expectations.
“These girls were overachievers,” McCullough said. “After losing five seniors from last year’s team, he started one senior, one junior and three sophomores. They have been a blessing to work. We had a lot of fun. McKinnon (Skeen) is leaving quite a legacy. These girls are already talking about going to Jackson next year. The Lord has blessed us more than we possibly deserve. We give Him the glory, win or lose.”
3A Girls North Half Playoffs
Belmont Girls 59, East Side 45
The East Side Trojanettes had as strong season, but all that came to an end Friday as they fell to the Belmont Lady Cardinals.
The Trojanettes finished the year 22-7 under first year head coach Leroy Cotton, who also coached the boys basketball team.
With both the boys and girls playing at the same time Friday, Cotton coached the boys with girls assistant coach Adrian Cannon and boys assistant coach LaDarryl Campbell taking the Trojanettes squad.
Cotton said the effort from the girls was great, and he was proud of the season they had.
"I told them back in November that if they trust what we are doing than in January we will be playing really good basketball,” Cotton said. “They bought in and we started doing just that. I am so proud of them for how they played this year. We are only losing two seniors so I expect things to only get better.”
In the loss to Belmont, Shammia Love scored 21 points to lead East Side, while Carvacier Sanders finished her High School career with 16 points in the loss.