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Myrtle is finding ways to win, and despite 29 points from Okolona’s Quinndella Ford, the Lady Hawks pulled away for the 68-44 win Thursday night in Coldwater.
Both teams saw their top players get into early foul trouble, but that did not hurt the Lady Hawks, who held a 33-19 lead at the half with both Aspriona Gilbert and Halle Knowles recording three first half fouls, along with Ford and Victoria Cunningham for the Lady Chieftains.
“I thought we survived tonight. We didn’t play good, but we won,” Myrtle head coach Chris Greer said. “We got into foul trouble, but we’re going to be okay.”
Ford scored 16 points in the second half before fouling out with 6:14 remaining. This preceded Gilbert fouling out after scoring seven points in the fourth, 27 overall. The junior was one of three Lady Hawks in double figures in the win, with Keanna Cox returning from injury to score 12 points and Halle Knowles finishing with 11 points.
Myrtle never surrendered the lead with the Lady Chieftains only tying the game once before Myrtle went on a 7-0 run to regain the lead, 12-5 in the first. The Lady Hawks led by five after the first and held Okolona to only four free throws in the second quarter. Ten points was the closest the Lady Chieftains would get for the remainder of the game, as they were outscored 35-25 in the second half.
Next for Myrtle is a North Half semifinal match-up with Coldwater, who defeated Ingomar, 38-29.
Kayla Stevens hit two three-pointers in the first half and helped the Lady Falcons stay within single digits at the half, down only 18-12.
Ingomar would get as close as three-points in the third quarter, but 26 points overall from Jerontay Clemons helped the Lady Cougars advance to the next round.
Grisham led Ingomar with 11 points, followed by Stevens with 10 points.
Greer knows that while both teams did not perform well in Thursday’s games, the Myrtle-Coldwater match-up will be hard fought on Friday night.
They have a great, coach and great team,” he said. “I think it’s going to be our best game tomorrow night. Coldwater played sloppy as well, but we’re going to go out there and give it our best.”
The Lady Hawks and Lady Cougars will face off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
Myrtle 73 Coldwater 71 (boys)
The Hawks knocked off second-seeded Coldwater Thursday night after battling from 14 down at the half.
Robert Montgomery scored 31 points in the win, while Russ Yates added 19 points, connecting on three triples.
Myrtle will continue their impressive playoff run, which included a 61-58 win over top seeded Biggersville out of Region 1-1A on Tuesday, when they face division rival H.W. Byers at 6 p.m. on Friday. The Hawks have defeated the Lions in both of their meetings this season, last winning an 89-84 decision on Jan. 21.