JACKSON — The drought, if you can call it that, is over.
Behind the play of Meloney Thames and Carly Keats, Choctaw Central ran past Pass Christian 72-49 in the semifinal round of the MHSAA girls Class 4A playoffs Monday afternoon at the Mississippi Coliseum.
The Lady Warriors (25-3) will face Pontotoc for the Class 4A state championship at 5 p.m. Thursday. The last time Choctaw Central reached the championship game was 2018, when it was still a Class 3A school.
“When we make that first shot, we usually get off to a pretty good start,” ninth-year Choctaw Central coach Bill Smith said. “I thought Meloney and Carly played really well offensively.”
It was all Choctaw Central from the start as the Lady Warriors raced out to a 25-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Warriors opened the second quarter on a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 34-10. Choctaw Central had a controlling 46-19 advantage at halftime.
In the third quarter, Pass Christian cut the lead down to 17 points at 50-33 midway through.
To end the third quarter, Thames hit a 3-pointer and quickly got a steal and hit another 3-pointer to give the Lady Warriors a 62-35 advantage at the end of the period to seal it.
“First thing about Meloney is she can fly, and she’s been playing four years for us,” Smith said. “When she’s on, she can shoot lights out.”
Thames finished with a game-high 30 points to lead Choctaw Central.
“We started off really well and were making shots. We played really well as a team,” Thames said. “We haven’t made it to the championship in three years, so we’re excited to play for a championship.”
Carly Keats added 13 points for Choctaw Central, while Shantashia John chipped in nine points.
Kylah Bell had 26 points to lead Pass Christian. The Lady Pirates finish the season 16-12.