from staff reports
The Meridian Star
It took five meetings, but the Choctaw Central girls basketball team finally got the better of Southeast Lauderdale, as they beat the Tigers 70-64 in the South State Championship Saturday night in front of a home crowd.
The Warriors were led by Lashayla McMillan, who scored a game-high 23 points on the night. Kandace Lasiloo scored 18 points and Kristen Dixon scored 13 to aid in the win.
“This is our best game we have played against them all year,” Choctaw Central head coach Bill Smith said. “Our girls came out and played hard tonight, we really wanted to prove we could beat them.”
Choctaw Central (26-7) capitalized on six three-pointers in the first quarter and never looked back from there, continuing to make the Tigers pay from beyond the arch all game.
Southeast (31-2) found itself down by 10 points late in the third quarter before trimming the lead all the way down to two points late in the fourth.
However, that is as far as the Tigers would get, as Choctaw went 9/12 from the foul-throw line to put the game out of reach.
“We were able to hit the free throws late, and that was probably the key to the game,” Smith said. “I just told my girls they had to settle down, and they did.”
Southeast was dealt an extra blow in the fourth quarter, as the Tigers saw a trio of stars leave due to injury. Southeast head coach Joe Miller said, Crystal Clay (knee) Denisha Knight (ankle) and Chariae Harbin (ankle) will all be evaluated during the week before it is determined whether or not they will play on Saturday in Jackson in the state semifinals.
“Crystal didn’t look good,” Miller said. “I don’t know whether she will be able to play or not. Knight went down midway through the fourth, and it was kind of ugly too. Hopefully they will be back in time. We got a week to get ready. We have to regroup and see what we got.”