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Saturday's 12th annual Robertson's Sportswear Challenge reminded many in the area that girl's basketball can be just as challenging and exciting as their male counterparts as several Northeast Mississippi teams faced off for a few nailbiters, including Union County's Lady Urchins.
Briarcrest Christian 55 Itawamba AHS 45
Itawamba's Noel Prestage connected on her first two shots of the game, but Briarcrest defense proved too much as they held the sharp shooter scoreless for the rest of the contest to pick up the 55-45 victory in the opening game of the day.
Anne Panagon scored a game-high 26 for Briarcrest while Rebecca Cleveland scored 11 for the Lady Indians.
Hickory Flat 58
East Union 48
The Lady Rebels of Hickory Flat outscored East Union 13-8 in the second quarter to take 27-18 lead in at halftime. The Lady Urchins fought hard throughout the third and fourth quarters to chip their way back into the contest, but the Lady Rebels matched East Union shot-for-shot in the second half to pick up the 58-48 victory.
Hannah Wilkerson scored a game-high 16 for Hickory Flat. Stephanie Dillard scored 14, Amy McCollugh 12, and Carly Mahan added 10 for East Union.
South Pontotoc 53
Pine Grove 51
Jessi Hayles scored a challenge-high 35 points for the South Pontotoc Lady Cougars, but it was freshman Elizabeth Henson's lone basket of the day that was the difference in the ballgame.
The Lady Panthers denied Hayles the basketball in hopes of forcing the game into overtime, but instead Henson knocked down a long ranger jumper with 10 seconds left in the game to give South the two-point victory.
Bryanna Davis scored a team-high 20 for Pine Grove.
New Site 46
Three different Lady Cougars scored in double digits for Coldwater to help the defending 1A State Champions fend off the Lady Royals in the final seconds of the game and hold on for the 52-46 victory.
Lanita Futrell scored 19, Jerontay Clemons 13, and Chamaine Stackhouse came off the bench to add 10 for Coldwater. Darrah Pharr scored 19 for New Site.
HW Byers 51 OT
Amber Jackson earned GoreSports/W07BN All-Challenge MVP honors by scoring 29 points against defending 2A State Champion and the state's top ranked girls team H.W. Byers in the Lady Waves 52-51 overtime victory.
Jackson's three-pointer at the start of overtime proved to be the difference in the contest as the Lady Lions could not get anything going against a determined Lady Waves defense in the extra period.
Rachel Jones scored 19 and Kourtney Coleman added 15 for the Lady Lions.
Nettleton 39 Ingomar 36
The Lady Falcons went 1-for-11 from behind the arch and 5-of-11 from the free throw line in the first half, but fought shot-for-shot against Nettleton in the final game of the day.
Ingomar had a chance to tie the contest with 4.3 seconds left in the contest, but a turnover on their final possession negated any chance at a final shot and possible overtime allowing the 3A Lady Tigers to escape with the 39-36 victory.
Despite playing with a bad ankle Brittany Edwards scored 11 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for her fourth straight double-double performance for the Lady Falcons. Camry Jones scored 19 for Nettleton.
The hundreds of fans that filed in and out of the historic Ingomar gymnasium throughout the day was buzzing about the games and the hospitality in this year's event giving Robertson and everyone involved an unspoken thank you for all their hard work to make the Challenge an overwhelming success.