By Laurence Hilliard
Webster Progress Times
JACKSON – Cold shooting, an aggressive Bay Springs 2-3 defense and a scoring drought at the start of both halves added up to a 53-47 East Webster loss in the quarterfinals of the MHSAA 2A girls state tournament Friday at the Mississippi Coliseum, ending the Lady Wolves’ season.
“We only have two girls who have ever been here before,” said East Webster coach Michael Seger. “With 17 freshmen and sophomores, I definitely think we were in awe of the moment.
“I thought we were prepared. I thought we had a really good week. We just weren’t able to generate the kind of pressure with our defense that we have been able to generate all year. We never got the game in an up-tempo battle, which is where we thrive. Our inability to get good looks and score kept us out of our press. I think that was the difference in the game.”
East Webster was 14-of-47 from the floor, 2-of-9 on 3-point attempts and 7-of-15 from the line. The Lady Wolverines went scoreless for nearly 2-and-a-half minutes at the start of the game before Jennah Pate scored off an offensive rebound, and nearly three minutes at the outset of the second half before Isha Patterson hit the game’s first 3-pointer.
During those two droughts, the Lady Wolves were outscored 13-0.
Despite all the negatives, East Webster kept it close until near the end. The Lady Wolverines trailed just 32-28 before Jaliyah Shelby converted a three-point play with 2:57 left to give Bay Springs some breathing room. The Lady Bulldogs cemented the win by making eight straight free throws down the stretch.
East Webster senior Adryana Bell had game high totals of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Pate contributed nine rebounds and six points.
Six-foot-two senior Sandreka Gray had 10 points and seven rebounds and Shelby seven points and 10 rebounds for Bay Springs. The Lady Bulldogs (18-9) will play Coahoma County in the semifinals Tuesday,
Bay Springs was slightly worse than East Webster from the floor (14-48), missed all six 3-point attempts, and was out-rebounded 41-36, but made eight more free throws.
“I thought we defended well overall,” said Seger. “If we could have gotten a couple of buckets and a couple of steals, I feel the game could have turned quickly.
“But they made the plays. Give credit to them. Their defense kept us out of transition and kept us out of the lane. I didn’t do a good enough job getting us ready to go against them.”
East Webster finishes 24-8. “We have a great group of girls,” Seger said. “Outside of our locker room, not many people would have taken us to win our district, or be down here.”
East Webster went 8-2 in winning 4-2A and had victories over Strayhorn and East Union in the state tournament.