(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
NEW MADRID -- After two weeks off for Christmas break, the New Madrid County Central junior varsity girl's basketball team kicked off the new year with a 61-55 win over Hayti's varsity squad Monday night.
"There was some bright spots tonight and there was some really ugly spots tonight," Lady Eagles' coach David Crockett said. "But the bottom line is we're going to get better and that's what we have to keep going for."
Led by Rashuada Summers' 13 first-half points, NMCC was able to take an early lead and build it to 12 at 26-14 at the break.
Not letting the Lady Eagles run away, however, Hayti was able to use a hot second half by freshman Greniqua Rodgers to cut their deficit to six entering the fourth before opening the final frame with a 9-3 run to tie the game.
It was Rodgers contributing seven points during that time frame that tied it up, hitting two free throws with just under five-and-a-half minutes to play at 43-43.
Though able to hang with the Lady Eagles until the final few minutes, NMCC was able to take the lead once and for all when Shabria Grandberry hit an open basket to put NMCC up by two with just under two minutes to play.
While Hayti was able to stay within three points of the Lady Eagles with only 30 seconds to play, NMCC's Audra Porter was able to add one more free throw before Prescious King add one last basket to seal the game.
"The effort in the second half was better than the first half," Crockett said of his team. "I told them at halftime, 'I want to see more effort on the defensive end,' and I thought it was there."
Finishing with 18 points, Summers led NMCC on the night while King's 12 points was good for second on the team.
Making up the bulk of Hayti's offense, Rodgers had a game-high 35 points, including 27 in the Lady Indians' second half comeback.
HAYTI (55) -- Greniqua Rodgers 35, Brandala Ivory 2, Tianna Taylor 2, Bobbie Luster 1, Brandy Cooper 1, Jermika Corington 8, Bridget Thomas 4, Carmesha Johnson 2. FG 15, FT 22-38, F 38. (3-pointers: Rodgers 2, Corington 1. Fouled out: Luster, Thomas).
NMCC (61) -- Keandra Childress 2, Audra Porter 11, Mary Clara Porter 2, Amirah Ruff 4, Shabria Grandberry 4, Prescious King 12, Danika King 5, Kemaya Taylor 3, Rashauda Summers 18. FG 19, FT 22-61, F 30. (3-pointers: Porter 1. Fouled out: Sara Ash, Ruff, Garmon).