If there was one thing Pine Grove coach Katie Bates was worried about it was rebounding.
Well the Lady Panthers dominated that aspect.
Behind a dominating fourth quarter and outrebounding McAdams by double digits, Pine Grove ran past the Lady Bulldogs 56-34 to claim the Girls Class 1A state championship at the Mississippi Coliseum on Thursday afternoon.
It is Pine Grove’s second straight Class 1A state title and sixth state championship overall.
The Lady Panthers outrebounded McAdams 38-15
“That was our challenge coming in,” Bates said. “We were beat on the boards the last two games and we’ve been telling the girls the last two days whoever wins the board will win a state championship.”
Loren Elliott would have 19 points and three steals to lead Pine Grove, while Taylor Fletcher added 11 points for the Lady Panthers (34-3).
“We weren’t nervous at all just had come out here and give glory to God win or lose,” Elliott said. “Today we just had a vibe in us. We’ve been here before and we knew we didn’t have to be scared just go out there and get it done.”
Karlie Rogers had 10 points and pulled down 20 rebounds for Pine Grove and was named the games Most Valuable Player.
“Our biggest thing was rebounding. We’ve struggled throughout the year and Coach Bates said before the game if we could just rebound you got it,” Rogers said. “Our mind set was rebounding and crashing the boards no matter what.”
Pine Grove never trailed. The closest McAdams got to the Lady Panthers was six points midway through the third quarter at 31-25.
Pine Grove would then outscore McAdams 22-7 in the fourth quarter to pull away.
“Experience kind of help us out and getting stops on defense was huge for us,” Bates said. “One of big things for us is repetition. Big into practice. We don’t have all-stars or big name players we play as a team and that is what has won us the last two state titles and hopefully more to come.”
Jakyra Young had 12 points to lead McAdams, while Kneisha Erving added six points for the Lady Bulldogs (22-10).