The Harrison Central girls basketball season came to an end against at the hands of the undefeated Starkville Yellowjackets.
Starkville improved to 30-0 with a 35-27 victory over Harrison Central Saturday night in the Class 6A quarterfinals at the Mississippi Coliseum.
Starkville junior guard Jariyah Covington led all scorers with 18 points and grabbed four rebounds to help set up Wednesday’s 1:30 p.m. match against Biloxi at the coliseum.
The Red Rebelettes finished the season 22-4 with only one one team from the state of Mississippi beating them this season. Starkville also beat Harrison Central 47-31 on Dec. 27 in Starkville. Faith Academy of Mobile provided the other two defeats.
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“I’m just proud of the season they had,” Harrison Central coach Nancy Ladner said. “They played hard. You get out there and give your all. If they chips fall, let them fall where they may. We played hard, had a great season. I’m proud. What can you say to them when they have a great season? All you can do is tell them that you’re proud of them.”
Harrison Central made just 11-of-45 shots from the field for a field goal percentage of 24.4.
Harrison Central didn’t have much luck on the offensive end all night.
“There were some possessions that we should have taken care of,” Ladner said. “They battled hard to the end. Starkville is one of the top teams in the state. It was tough, but we knew it was going to be a tough game. I’m proud of the girls for hold them to what they did. They were averaging 60-70 points a game.”
Starkville didn’t do much better from the field at 28.9 percent, but the big difference came at the free throw line. Starkville hit 10 of 12 attempts at the charity stripe while Harrison Central only had a single free throw try.
“We didn’t get to the free throw line like we needed to,” Ladner said. “We didn’t drive the ball like needed. There were some mental lapses That’s what happens. There were just times when we needed to step up and play big and we didn’t.”
Harrison Central led 8-6 after one quarter in what was a low-scoring game throughout. Starkville out-scored Harrison Central 13-7 in the second quarter to go up 19-15 at the half.
Arie Norwood gave Harrrison Central a spark on offense with three 3-pointers, including a couple of makes in the third quarter, but the shots never consistently fell for the Red Rebelettes.
Norwood led Harrison Central with 15 points and Chyna Allen added seven, but the rest of the team only combined for five points.
“The offense kind of stalled,” Ladner said. “We didn’t do everything we wanted to. “The shots weren’t falling for some of our shooters like it normally would.”