|Cheridan Burroughs fouls Whitehaven’s Tia Polk during the Region 8 semifinal game at Central on Monday night. Houston won 56-45|
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Ridgeway’s girls pulled off the difficult feat of defeating White Station for the third time, scoring a 56-45 victory in the Region 8 semifinals at Central. And now the Roadrunners get a chance to settle the score with a Houston team that last week showed just how tough it can be.
The Mustangs, who tripped up Ridgeway in their third meeting last week in the District 15 finals, earned themselves a date with the Roadrunners in Wednesday’s 7 p.m. final — thanks to a 56-45 win over Whitehaven.
Ridegeway got 16 points from senior Ashley Jackson and nine each from sophomore Brandi Beasley and junior Erin Foster to equal its 28-3 mark from last season — which ended in a semifinal loss to Overton.
“We know we want to do better than we did last year, and we’ve been striving for that chance,” Jackson said.
“We’re usually a better shooting team than we showed tonight,” Spartans’ coach Tola Black said. “They’re a good team we’re a good team too but tonight couldn’t make the shots to show it.”
Houston (26-7) and Whitehaven (19-10) muddled through a second and third quarter where the two teams combined for 31 total points. But the Mustangs came out of the period with a 33-25 lead, got to the free-throw line early in the fourth quarter and hit 15 of their last 18 tries. Sophomore Jaida Roper had 20 points, including 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch. Senior Aysha Harris added 13 including nine in a final period where she was 7-of-8 from the line — after missing four of her first six.
“I was glad for all those free throw drills about 30 seconds into the (fourth) quarter,” Harris said.
Whitehaven (19-10) got 14 points apiece from seniors Laka Blache and Tiara Coleman, but also struggled from outside. “We had much better energy than we did (in the district finals),” Tigers coach Johnny Luckett said, “but we couldn’t make shots.”
Tournament host Bolton will play in Wednesday’s 7 p.m. title game after eliminating Munford, 54-47. Charity Savage poured in 34 points to lead Bolton (20-8), which will host Dyer County. The Choctaws ousted Hardin County, 66-46.
Precious Harvey scored 20 points and Treasury Poindexter added 15 as Covington (25-7) advanced to Wednesday’s title game at Fairley with a 65-50 victory over Craigmont. Daja Scurlock had 18 for the Chiefs, who end the year 23-7. The Chargers will face Jackson North Side for the championship; JNS defeated Jackson Liberty Tech 52-33.
Horn Lake and Olive Branch will meet for the fourth time this season after both teams won their North Half semifinal games. A’Queen Hayes scored 15 as the Eagles (25-1) routed South Panola, 77-25. Olive Branch advanced past Tupelo, 74-62.