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4A Playoffs: Choctaw Central books another trip to the Coliseum with 69-48 win over South Pontotoc

Kylie Williamson scores 17 points as Lady Warriors book another trip to Jackson

PHILADELPHIA — Choctaw Central is heading back to the Big House.

Behind a strong second-half push the Lady Warriors got past South Pontotoc 69-48 in the Quarterfinal Round of the MHSAA Girls Class 4A playoffs on Friday night.

Choctaw Central (27-4) will face Newton County in the Semifinal Round of the Class 4A playoffs at the Mississippi Coliseum on Monday at 5:30 p.m.

“We didn’t shoot it too well in the first half, and when the three’s don’t fall we’re always in trouble," Choctaw Central coach Bill Smith said. "But we got some steals and lay-ups there late in the third quarter and that changed the momentum of the game. All the matters now is there’s four teams left and we’re one of them. Our goal every year is to play in the state championship game, and we’re one win away from that and the ultimate goal is winning that gold ball next Thursday night.”

The Lady Warriors never trailed the entire game, leading 18-11 at the end of the first quarter and 28-24 at halftime.

They finally got some separation near the end of the third quarter, but not until after South Pontotoc had cut their lead to 35-34.

The Lady Warriors ended the quarter on a 13-0 run to take a 48-34 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, Choctaw Central went on a 8-2 run to extend their lead to 55-37 and had control of the game until the end.

“We've got to depend on our defense and pushing the ball up the floor and make shots. We finally were able to do that,” Smith said. “Once we got a couple of shots to fall we were able to pick things up and stay ahead.”

Kylie Williamson had a game-high 17 points to lead Choctaw Central. Malaka Morris added 14 points, while Kyla Farmer chipped in 11 points and Kylinn Bell had 10 points.

“I missed a lot of open shots in the first half, but in the second half shots started to fall and I gained confidence,” Williamson said. “We started communicating on defense and playing as a team and were able to pull away at the end. A lot of people didn’t expect to get back to Coliseum and feels good but we got to keep working.”

Rebekah Pilcher had 15 points to lead South Pontotoc, while Anna Sullivan added 14 points for the Lady Cougars (24-8).

“The two things I was worried about was turnovers in the back court and them getting easy baskets and offensive rebounds — and that hurt us in the first half,” said South Pontotoc coach Bill Russell. “They are a really good team and were quicker than us, but I’m proud of the girls for playing hard. Tonight just wasn’t our night.”