Neshoba Central's Kiyah Lewis (21) drives against Hattiesburg during the MHSAA Girls 5A Tournament held at Jackson State in Jackson MS.
Neshoba Central's Kiyah Lewis (21) drives against Hattiesburg during the MHSAA Girls 5A Tournament held at Jackson State in Jackson MS.
 The Neshoba Central Lady Rockets saw their season come to an end in the quarterfinals of the Girls State Class 5A state tournament.

The Lady Rockets lost a 48-38 decision to Hattiesburg Friday in the game played at Jackson State University.

Neshoba Central was the defending Class 5A state champions. They finished what could only described as a be a rebuilding year with a 15-14 record. With two eighth graders starting, the Lady Rockets had won their region tournament and made it back to Jackson.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of this team,” Coach Fred Morris said. “We played hard but their size was a big factor. They kept the pressure on us and wore us down. We aren’t that deep on the bench.”

Interestingly, it was a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal game which the Lady Rockets won on their way to a state championship.

 

Hattiesburg 48

Lady Rockets 38

The Lady Tigers went up 12-6 after the first quarter. Hattiesburg then held Neshoba Central to one field goal and three free throws in the second quarter. At the half, Hattiesburg led 24-11.

But this game wasn’t over. Neshoba Central cut the Hattiesburg lead to seven points – 30-23 – with 1:49 left in the third quarter. That would be as close as they would get, however. Hattiesburg outscored the Lady Rockets 4-2 in the time left and led 34-25 going into the final period.

The Lady Tigers held Neshoba Central at bay through the last eight minutes play, outscoring them 14-13.

For the game, Neshoba Central connected on 13-of-44 shots including two three-point shots. The Lady Rockets were 10-of-15 from the free throw line.

Hattiesburg made 20-of-46 field goal attempts, including two three-point shots. The Lady Tigers were 6-of-11 from the free throw line.

Carly Keats was the leading scorer with nine points while Hallie Billie scored eight points.

Hattiesburg improved to 24-6. The Lady Tigers were to play Lafayette on Tuesday.