The Stone High Lady ’Cats basketball team traveled to Purvis Friday and used a dominant performance to defeat the Tornadoes 49-31.
“The girls really performed,” said coach Sam Smith. “They executed our offense and they hit shots.”
Hayleigh Breland led Stone with 16 points while Yazmine Bradford was right behind with 15 on 5-for-8 shooting from 3-point range.
Reina Hartfield added 11 points, going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
The Lady ’Cats [18-4, 7-0 7-4A] shot 47 percent from 3-point range and 39 percent on 2-pointers.
“We’re just trying to find the open man,” Smith said.
Mari’a Moye lit it up for 22 points and made five steals as the Lady ’Cats rolled over the visiting Aggies of Forrest County AHS last Tuesday.
Breland added 13 points and Hartfield contributed nine.
As has become their norm, the Tomcats took a while to get warmed up at Purvis Friday.
Once they did, though, they quickly quieted a raucous crowd and posted a 70-51 victory.
Down by one point, 25-24, at halftime. Stone roared back in the third quarter, outscoring the Tornadoes 22-7 en route to the win.
“I don’t know what it is about the team that they start out slow,” said coach Todd Miller. “We had it figured out by the half, though, and went to a man-to-man defense instead of our press and that got us going.”
Miller said his players were good at grinding to get the job done.
“A.J. [Petty] and Caleb [Armstrong], with their football background, just bring a toughness most teams can’t handle,” he said. ”We’re going to out-athlete most people.”
And it doesn’t hurt to have a sharpshooter like J’saiah Brown lurking on the wings, waiting to light up the nets.
Brown scored 30 points to lead the Tomcats [14-9, 5-2 7-4A].
He scored 21 of those on 7-for-15 shooting from 3-point range.
Cortez Dennis added 14 points.
“If those two get hot, if either one of them gets hot, it’s going to cause some problems for an opponent,” Miller said.
Another slow start doomed the Tomcats in a 58-52 loss to the visiting Aggies of Forrest County AHS last Tuesday.
“We had too many turnovers and missed shots early and we just couldn’t come back from that,” Miller said.
Stone has three more regional games over the next week before wrapping up the regular season with a trip to South Jones on Feb. 7.
Both the Lady ’Cats and the Tomcats can guarantee themselves a first-round bye in the regional tournament to be held at Greene County and an appearance in the MHSAA state tournament by winning out in those regional contests.
The teams were scheduled to travel to Sumrall Tuesday, host Poplarville Friday and host Purvis next Tuesday.