The North Pontotoc girls basketball team fell hard, 74-31, to unbeaten Bay High tonight, but the defeat in the Class 4A semifinals will be just a side note for one player on the losing team.
With eight points on just three-of-18 shooting Monday night, North Pontotoc senior guard Andrea Lewis's voice cracked as she explained how her game went.
"Nothing would fall, but everybody has an off night," Lewis said as she looked down at the table in front of her.
North Pontotoc coach Shane Montgomery jumped in as Lewis struggled to answer the question, explaining that her grandfather, James Lewis, had died just after midnight Monday morning.
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"A lot of people don't know that her grandaddy died this morning," Montgomery said. "They gave him two-to-four weeks to live. He had prostate cancer and this was his 6th week and he died early this morning. "He's been hanging on for her. He's been living through her the last two or three weeks. All he's been wanting to know was how Andrea and them came out and how they've been doing. He was a great man, pastor and preacher for a long time. He's up in a better place now. He wouldn't trade places with us. She's had a lot on her mind in the last two to four weeks. It's been tough on her, but I think she's a stronger person through this. She battled her heart out tonight and her grandaddy would have been proud of her."
Lewis was North Pontotoc's leading scorer entering Monday's game, averaging 16.9 points a game.