ACKERMAN – It is that time of the year when a team gets on a hot streak they can go a long way in the postseason.
The East Webster High School girls basketball team won the Class 2A, Region 5, District 4 championship with a 51-47 win over St. Joseph.
It was the third win for the Lady Wolverines this week.
"It's huge," East Webster head coach Mandy Jewell said of getting on a hot streak. "All year we have played well in tournaments. We haven't lost a game in a tournament yet. I don't know if it's the atmosphere or if the girls in crunch time are good. They just came out and played well all week and I am proud of them."
It is almost one year removed from the tornado that ripped through East Webster High school leaving them to relocate to Wood Junior College in Mathiston.
Jewell took her team to get a picture on the grounds of where their old gym stood. That was a main motivation this week.
"It's huge especially for basketball because we lost the gym completely," Jewell said. "That picture I put up on the board meant a lot to those girls. When I walked out, they said 'coach please leave that picture up.' I think that image stuck with them this week."
The first quarter saw the two teams trade baskets and eventually leave the first frame with a 13-13 tie.
The Lady Wolverines ended the second quarter on a 3-0 run to take a 25-23 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The third frame belonged to East Webster as it outscored the Lady Bruins 12-3.
"I told them we had played hard all year," Jewell said of what she told her team at halftime. "Good teams shine at the end and we were going to find out if they were a good team or not and it was their time to shine if they wanted it. We have done things this year that we didn't expect to do. I told them to go out there and surprise everybody and we did."
The Lady Bruins made a desperate attempt to get back in the ballgame in the fourth quarter.
They pulled within three points at 44-41, but the Lady Wolverines did not let them get over the hump and pushed the lead back out. They made free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
"Every time they scored we came back and scored," Jewell said of the fourth quarter. "Anytime you can do that you are going to win a bunch of games. I told my girls they score you have to turn around and push it down the floor and you have to score immediately. That throws a lot of teams off."
East Webster was lead Quantesha Patterson with 15 points. Katesha Dear added 14 points and Lynesha McCurry chipped in 10 points.
The Lady Wolverines will host a first round playoff game Monday night against Wesson.
East Webster 48
ACKERMAN – The Wolverines dominated the game for three quarters, but the Eagles found their stride late in the third quarter and carried it over to the fourth quarter.
Eupora hit two big 3-pointers to end the third quarter to give them a 33-32 lead headed to the final frame. It seemed to give them some momentum because it sparked a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter.
"It was a big lift," Eupora head coach Bryant Thomas said of the 3-pointers. "We weren't getting easy baskets. We did get open looks, but we weren't making them. After we made them, we felt like we could play."
The Wolverines trailed 12-10 after the first quarter, but rebounded to take a 24-21 halftime lead.
The Wolverines had chances early in the game to push their lead to double digits, but couldn't and found themselves in a hole in the fourth quarter.
"The whole game they gave us plenty of opportunities to go ahead and take the basketball game," East Webster head coach Corey Stidham said. "We weren't mentally prepared it looked like. In the fourth quarter, we dug ourselves a hole and we had to fight back. We just can't do that."
The Eagles did not find themselves until the fourth quarter and Thomas believed it had something to do with an emotional loss the night before.
"I think we were still coming off a slump from last night's game against St. Joseph," Thomas said. "Our main player was in foul trouble once again. Mainly we were just coming off a lag from last night's loss."
The Wolverines were led by Charles Guyton with 14 points. Ty Hendrix added 10 points. East Webster will be back in action Tuesday as they will travel for first round action in North Class 2A.
Derrick Jones led Eupora with 15 points. Randall Cunningham and Trey Pittman each had 12 points. The Eagles will also be on the road for first round action in Class 2A North.