Season ends for lady Hornets

Published 7:33 pm Thursday, February 22, 2007

Any thoughts Poplarville had of upsetting defending Class 4A state champion Wayne County to open the state playoffs were quickly laid to rest Monday night.

The homestanding Lady War Eagles bolted out to a quick 24-2 lead after the first quarter, en route to a comfortable 71-44 win in the opening round of the Class 4A South State playoffs.

The win moves Wayne County to 31-2 on the year, and into the South State Tournament which begins on Thursday.

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Poplarville sees its season come to an end at 10-12.

“They jumped on us quick and we got behind early,” Poplarville head coach Annette Smith said. “They got after us with their press and made us play their tempo. They are a very good basketball team and we hung with them best we could after the bad start.”

Wayne County, which hasn’t lost at home this season, used a 14-0 run at one point during the opening frame to take control of the game.

“We played pretty well after the first quarter,” Smith added. “We did the best we could, they just got so far ahead of us early.”

Shameka Russell tallied a game high 20 points in the win for Wayne Count, while Domaneisha Chambers added 18.

Larke Nightengale scored 16 for Poplarvillle, and Demi Beason added seven points while Lydia Alexius and Policia Travis added six apiece.

“I told our girls they have nothing to be ashamed of,” Smith added. “They are very experienced and we are pretty young. I’m proud of how far the girls got.”

Poplarville loses two seniors, in Alexis and Brittany McCollum, and will have four starters and two key reserves returning next season.

“That was a tough way for us to start the playoffs, playing the defending state champions on the road right off the bat,” Smith concluded. “They are a really strong team and they deserved to win.”

Wayne County now moves on the South State Tournament, which will take place at Brookhaven on Thursday.

It was the second season in a row Poplarville lost in the first round on the road.