Assistant West Jones girls basketball coach Jeremiah Keyes reminded head coach, Sharon Murray, her team had been in this situation before. South Jones threatened to upset the Lady Mustangs and thus unravel their perfect season with a 50-45 lead in the final three minutes of Friday night’s Region 5-5A regular season meeting – the second of its kind.

“Of course you think about the last game [and how it ended]. My coach on the bench, Coach Keyes, kept reminding me how we did this last game [and our girls could do it again]. It doesn’t always happen like that, but I was excited that we were able to come back again and pull it out.”

And like the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 4th, West Jones rallied in the last minute and a half to beat county rival South Jones, 54-50, in Soso.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Murray “I believe in my team, but South Jones did a great job tonight. They worked hard and stuck with their game plan. 

“But we finally got shots to fall our way. Our defense made for some easy layups off of steals.”

The Lady Mustangs outscored South Jones 9-0 in the final three minutes to keep the unbeaten streak alive through 21 games. Murray watched her team struggle shooting the second half – especially in the third quarter – was glad to see the layups and easy jumpers falling again.

“We went through some spells where we couldn’t make a shot,” said Murray. “And [South Jones] made a good run in the third quarter. We couldn’t contain Kelsi Jackson [during that time]. They just kept scoring, and we couldn’t score.

“I’m glad we made a run in the fourth quarter and got things going.”

South Jones gained its first lead of the night with 17 seconds left in the third period after a three-point shot by senior guard and Jones College signee Jordan Clark. The Lady Braves continued to put West Jones in an uncomfortable position early in the fourth before deja-vu sat in. 

Point leaders

All starting five finished with double-digits for West Jones. Briana Carr and Mia Moore led the way with 12 points each, while Jurnee McLaurin, Brikayla Gray, and Imani Arrington netted 10 a-piece.

South Jones’ Kelsi Jackson led all scorers with 24 points and six rebounds. Jernize Gammage also finished in double-digits with 16.

Sports Editor

James is a graduate of Stringer High School and Jones County Junior College. He is an award-winning AP and MS Press photographer, writer, and layout designer.

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