The Bay High Lady Tigers forced five first-quarter turnovers off a tight full court press and found Simone Jackson for eight points on three layups and three free throws, all in the first quarter to pull away from Poplarville at Bay High on Monday. The Lady Tigers easily put away the Lady Hornets 78-34 in the first round of the state playoffs.
"I told them that we needed to jump on them and take charge early, not let them hang on and get confident and start battling with us," said Lady Tigers' coach Debbie Triplett. "It was important that we got off to a good start.
"I thought our man-to-man defense was really effective. We got some turnovers and turned some of them into some fastbreak points. That's what it's about. Turnovers and rebounds turn into offense for us because we like to run the ball and fastbreak. And I think Simone took charge early in the game."
The Lady Tigers led 15-2 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was more of the same, but their half court defense forced seven turnovers and produced 33 points off quick ball movement and crisp passes into the post. The Lady Tigers led 48-15 at halftime.
The Lady Tigers appeared to capitalize with whoever had the ball. Jamaya Galloway pushed the ball and found the open shooter near the basket with lob passes over the top, and she drove the lane and scored when the shot was there. Aerion Dority entered the game in the second quarter and put up 10 points in the period.
"I like when everybody touches the ball," added Triplett. "It makes the defenders have to defend every player out there. We work on that.
"She (Dority) comes in and gives us a spark. She comes in and hits a three or two and it seems like it picks us up. It's good to have her come in off the bench like that because if the offense is kind of stale, it picks us up and gets us going."
Jackson led the Lady Tigers with 21 points. Galloway added 17. Dority finished with 14, and Amari Pittman and Dasha Barned contributed 9 and 8 points respectively.
Zanaisha Turner led the Lady Hornets with 15 points.
The Lady Tigers will host a second round game on Friday.