Hattiesburg continues to find its groove at the start of region play. The Lady Tigers stayed undefeated on Friday after defeating Pearl River Central 50-27.
“It’s a good win for us in a division game,” Hattiesburg coach Caronica Jackson said. “That puts us at 3-0 in the first half (of region play), so I’m proud of that.”
Hattiesburg (6-4) began to find its rhythm in the first quarter. After holding a 9-6 lead, the Lady Tigers went on an 8-2 run to extend their lead 17-8.
The second quarter had just 11 points scored between both teams, with Hattiesburg holding a 23-13 lead at the end of the half.
“The second quarter, we were still trying to figure out what we wanted to do defensively,” Jackson said. “We were just trying to find a rhythm, and we didn’t find it until the third quarter.”
Despite the low scoring quarter, senior Reagan Kennedy was key in providing the Lady Tigers’ offense with life as she scored 12 of her team-leading 15 points in the first half.
“Reagan is a senior who loves to shoot the ball,” Jackson said. “We actually said before we went out, I said ‘Who are my two shooters?’ and my actual shooters that we go to are Daikaya (Lewis) and Chloe (Thompson), and Reagan is my third person. With the looks she got, I was very proud of her. You could see that she gets very excited when she scores. It’s always a good thing. It changes the energy, and everybody plays harder when you are scoring like that.
Hattiesburg opened the second half with an aggressive full-court press that resulted in multiple Blue Devil turnovers which opened the game for the Lady Tigers.
“For the third quarter, we wanted to come out within a full-court pressure and deny the ball some more,” Jackson said. “In the half, we were in the zone and waiting for them to pass the ball around. We wanted to put more pressure in the second half.
“It gives us more energy. We are a little bit more rested right out of halftime. We didn’t have any foul trouble, and everybody had a good bit of rest, so we were ready to get after them in the second half.”
In the third quarter, Hattiesburg took full control of the game over Pearl River Central (9-6). The Lady Tigers outscored PRC 20-2 in the quarter, with Chloe Thompson scoring seven of her 12 points. The quarter which extended Hattiesburg’s lead 43-15 essentially sealed the Lady Tigers’ win.
Hattiesburg will host Oak Grove next Tuesday.