LYMAN - There's an oversized map to "The Big House" in Jackson located just outside the Harrison Central girls basketball team's fourth locker room.
For the fourth straight season, the Red Rebelettes will follow the same path to the Mississippi Coliseum in the capitol city.
Harrison Central held on for a 55-54 win over Terry Friday night to advance to the state quarterfinals despite not scoring in the final 2 and a half minutes.
Harrison Central (20-9) will play Callaway (21-9) at 4 p.m. on March 5 at Jackson State with a shot to advance to the state semifinals.
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Many wondered what Harrison Central would be capable of this season following the graduation of star guard Jazzmun Holmes, who is now playing at Mississippi State.
It turns out the Red Rebelettes are right back where they seem to be every season.
"It's part of the tradition here," coach Nancy Ladner said. "There were a lot of people who counted us out before even playing one game. We had some young ones. They battled and they played hard. I see a big want in them and it's finally showing through."
Senior forward Adyn Strickland is making her fourth straight trip to Jackson, but she's still seeking her first state title trophy.
"It means everything to me," she said. "Everybody is on the same page as me now. I've been there three years already and this will be my fourth time. This time we're going to take it home. They believe and I believe that we're going to take it home."
Friday's win didn't come easily for the Red Rebelettes (20-9) against a Terry team that lost to Horn Lake in the Class 6A state title game a year ago. Harrison Central appeared to be in complete control with a 55-46 lead following a 3-pointer by ArieAnna Norwood with 2:37 remaining, but it failed to score the rest of the way.
Terry responded with an 8-0 run, including a 3-pointer from the corner by Nyah Tate with 32.3 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 55-54.
Dominique Jackson came up with a steal for Terry with 6 seconds to go. Following a jump ball, Tate failed to secure an inbound pass under the basket and the ball rolled out of bounds with 2.5 seconds left.
Terry never had possession again and Harrison Central managed to hold on.
"To be honest, I was ready to pull my hair out," Ladner said of the last 2-plus minutes. "We practiced on keeping our composure. We knew they would press the whole game. We go four straight days and work on nothing but press offense and I thought we handled the press well the whole game until the last 2 minutes. We let the pressure get to us. We had jitters.
"We made it closer than it needed to be. Hopefully we can learn from it."
Terry led by as many as nine points in the first half and led 26-20 at halftime.
The game turned Harrison Central's way to start the second half as Strickland scored 10 points in the third quarter to help the Red Rebelettes lead 40-37 headed into the final period.
"I just picked my team up and told them lets go," Strickland said. "It's now or never. I'm a senior. I told them lets work. We don't want our season to end right here. The momentum came, everything game. The third quarter, everything was there."
Strickland finished with a team high of 17 points and Chyna Allen contributed 12 points.
Norwood scored 15 for Harrison Central and also did a good job on defense of limiting Terry star Tekayla Tassin in the second half.
Tassin scored 12 points in the first half, but finished with only 16 total.
"We knew (Tassin) was the one we had to stop," Ladner said. We went to a box-and-one (defense) before the half, but we weren't exactly playing the box like we were supposed to. We made a few adjustments and got people on the right rotations. It worked a lot better. (Norwood) did a fantastic job on (Tassin)."
Tate had 11 and Dominique Jackson added 10 points for Terry.