OXFORD — For Senatobia the 13-year drought is over.
Behind a stiff defense along with the play of Sharday Richardson the Lady Warriors got past Ruleville 57-45 to claim the MHSAA Girls Class 3A State Championship on Saturday afternoon at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.
It is Senatobia’s (28-4) second state title overall and first since 1997.
“To start off the beginning of the year our motto was chasing that ring and the girls bought in, worked hard, stepped up and got it,” said Senatobia coach Tosheba Jones. “Defense wins games and we can make free throws and lay-ups then we will be in good shape. It feels great to win because the last time we played in 2007 we lost to South Pike by one and to get it this time feels great.”
The Lady Warriors never trailed the entire game holding a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Senatobia came out holding the ball for nearly the first two minutes of the second quarter, but Ruleville’s Jacorriah Bracey would score six points in the quarter to cut the Lady Warrior lead to 20-18 at halftime.
Senatobia opened the third quarter on an 8-2 run to extend their lead to 28-20 and ended the quarter up 32-24.
The Lady Warriors began to pull early in the fourth quarter as they went on 7-0 run to go up 39-24. From that point the lead never got lower than 10 points.
“We are so quick on defense, so when someone as the ball two people will be on you,” Jones said. “That’s how it’s been for us all year. We had motivating going into the game because their coach posted on Facebook that the ring was theirs and I used it all week.”
Sharday Richardson had 15 points along with four steals to lead Senatobia and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
“I was just doing what I always do to help the team win,” Richardson said. “Most important thing was guarding Bracey and she’s really good. We knew she was going to score, but if we could contain her, we would be alright.”
Tiara Abron added 13 points for Senatobia.
Ole Miss signee Jacorriah Bracey had a game-high 38 points to lead Ruleville (28-5).