On the heels of a Region 2-6A Tournament championship last season, the Grenada Chargers were to secure the top seed in this year’s tournament with a win at home against South Panola last week.
The game went back and forth the entire time after Grenada jumped to an early 12-2 only to see South Panola come right back. Jaworski Rankin’s Chargers trailed by eight with 1:15 left in the game. GHS stormed back with the game’s final 10 points including a steal and layup from LaCurtis Allen with 3.5 seconds, propelling the Chargers to a 64-62 win over the Tigers.
It was a different story on the girls’ side.
Grenada led by three points in the game’s final seconds. The Lady Chargers took an ill-advised shot that South Panola rebounded and got off a desperation three-pointer that went in at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra period, GHS had scoring chances but didn’t convert, dropping a 57-54 decision.
A day later, the teams closed the 2013-14 regular season with a trip to Cleveland. The Chargers cruised to a 65-44 win while the girls’ lost a 45-33 verdict.
“I thought we had a chance to put them away early and didn’t do it,” Rankin said. “We have had that problem at times through the season. It’s an area that needs to get better as we head into the postseason.”
The win guaranteed GHS the top seed in tonight’s Region 2-6A Tournament at Tupelo.
“In the end, we found a way to win the game,” Rankin said. “That’s the most important thing. We were able to gain the top seed, which is a good accomplishment for this program. Hopefully, we can carry this momentum into the tournament this week and get into the North Half.”
Allen, who finished with a game-high 26 points, had six of the game’s final 10 points. Tyrin Jones, who finished with 16, scored four points during that run. Trey Spencer had seven and Joniah White finished with six. Dee Bradley scored four points and Tyrus Black finished with a point.
The Lady Chargers had a disappointing loss against South Panola, the second close loss to the Lady Tigers this season. Grenada and South Panola are scheduled to meet in the tournament opener at 4 p.m. today. The winner advances to the championship game at 6 p.m. Friday against the winner of Tupelo-Hernando. Both teams in the title contest advance to the North 6A Tournament beginning Feb. 24 at selected sites.
“We talked to them during a time out about holding on to the ball,” Coach Ken Ross said. “There was an ill-advised shot and they took it down and scored to send it to overtime. One of the biggest differences in the game was our inability to make free throws and easy shots inside the paint. It’s been a problem for us all season.”
Quita Pittman paced Grenada with 13 points. Trencia Conley scored 12 and Tykia Joseph chipped in 10. Tania Young had six and N’Kemenya Williams scored five. Dejone Hubbard and Nykeshia Stewart each had four points.
Grenada, 7-18, got 13 points from Pittman in the loss at Cleveland. Conley scored six and Williams chipped in five. Young had three points. Emily Bush, Joseph and Stewart all scored two.
In the boys’ game, the Chargers placed four players in double figures led by Allen with 18 points.
White, Jones, and Black all scored 10 points. Sam James and Spencer each had six points. Jay Dorsey chipped in three points and Jacobe Lawrence scored two points.
The Chargers face Hernando at 5:30 p.m. today. A win sends Grenada into the title game at 7:30 p.m. Friday against either Tupelo or South Panola.
Fans that want to watch the games on the internet at go to www.goldenwaveathletics.com.