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Neshoba Central adds another MHSAA 6A girls basketball championship with 53-39 win over Terry

The Rockets hoisted the gold ball for the second time in three years

For the second time in three years a gold ball is heading to Neshoba Central.

Behind a strong second half the Rockets got past Terry 53-39 to claim the MHSAA Girls Class 6A State Championship at the Mississippi Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.

It’s Neshoba Central’s (32-1) fourth state title in school history and first since 2022.

“I told the girls to quit playing like the No. 26 team in the state and come out and play like we’re the number one," Neshoba Central coach Jason Broome said. "I feel like we came out too comfortable and didn’t take the beginning of the game seriously. The girls came out, played defense, and scored some points and was able to be us and won the game.”

The Rockets began the game with a 3-0 lead, but Terry ended the quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

After the Bulldogs extended their lead to 11-3 to begin the second quarter, Neshoba Central got things going and ended the quarter on a 14-4 run. They led it 17-15 at halftime.

The Rockets had an answer for every advance the Bulldogs threw at them in the second half. They led it by 10, at 34-24, going into the fourth quarter, and stretched that out to 43-26 to put the game out of reach.

Neshoba Central held a 34-24 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Kyli Truss had 18 points to lead Neshoba Central, while Zharia Leflore added 15 points and was named the game’s most valuable player.

“We played like what we’re supposed to play in the second half," Broome said. "And we got on the same page and we were able to close the game out. I’m proud of Zharia she’s been through a lot and had to overcome a lot. This state title is one to enjoy because we’re more comfortable were as the last time we were undefeated and didn’t want to slip up. It never gets old.”

Leflore said she'd been playing through a broken middle finger on her right hand, and became emotional when they handed her the MVP trophy in the post-game ceremony.

“Coach told us to pick it up and do what we’re supposed to do," Leflore said. "We’ve worked all year and I feel like I deserve this award. “I’ve been wanting this my whole life, and glad it came true.”

Madison Jones had 15 points to lead Terry. The Lady Bulldogs finished 25-7.

“In the second half we allowed them to speed us up and created turnovers,” said Terry coach Ruth Buck. “We controlled the game in the first half, but I’m proud of the girls for getting this far.”