JACKSON, Miss. (WLOX) - The Harrison Central girls basketball team kicked things off against Olive Branch on Wednesday and matched the Conquistadors shot for shot in the first quarter, but Olive Branch’s defense served to be the difference in the game. The Rebelettes’ 19 turnovers - along with a 35-point night from Memphis commit Endya Buford - put an end to Harrison Central’s season, falling 65-49.
“It was fantastic, we had a great season," head coach Nancy Ladner said. "They battled and they played hard all year, can’t ask anything more from them. The inexperience kind of showed and it’s just something we’ve got to work on.”
Many thought the Harrison Central boys team had enough play-makers to potentially win a championship this year, but once star forward Carlous Williams went down with a left knee injury in the second quarter, it took the wind out of the Rebels’ sails as Starkville rolled to a 70-53 victory.
“He’s a tough kid and we had a trainer check it out and she felt like everything was good and like I said, he tried to go but he just couldn’t put any pressure on it," head coach Francisco “Boo” Hardy said. "I’m disappointed about the loss, but again, I’m happy for my kids because we won 26 games this year and lost five. You can’t go and fuss at them. We return four starters and then some more role players, so we should be right back in the mix next year.”
In the nightcap, the Biloxi Indians almost made magic happen again like they did against Gulfport in the quarterfinals. Down by 17 points in the first half, Biloxi rallied to cut the deficit to just seven with almost a minute remaining, but after star forward Caleb McCarty fouled out with only four points, the clock struck midnight on the Indians’ Cinderella story, losing to Murrah 63-50.
“At the end of the day, my guys kept fighting," head coach Seber Windham said. "Adversity hit, and sometimes you’ve got to fight through adversity. I thought my guys did that, so I’m proud of this young group. They did some things that nobody thought this group would even be here. My four seniors got us here and I couldn’t be more proud of this group.”