OXFORD — For the second year in a row Olive Branch’s Endya Buford was a one-man wrecking crew.
Buford would pour in a game-high 40 points as the Lady Conquistadors got past Clinton 75-51 to claim the MHSAA Girls Class 6A State Championship at The Pavilion at Ole Miss on Saturday night.
It is the Lady Quistors (24-6) second state title in school history and second in a row after winning the 5A state title last year.
Olive Branch never trailed the entire game as they had a 21-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Quistors held a 30-18 lead midway through the second quarter, but Clinton would go on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 32-28. Olive Branch ended the first half up 37-34.
To open the second half Buford would score 14 of Olive Branch’s first 18 points to open the third quarter to take a 55-41 lead.
From that point Clinton would cut the Olive Branch lead to no lower than 11 points
“We left them off the hook in the second quarter and I told the girls at halftime we needed to answer with a run that they couldn’t respond from,” said Olive Branch coach Jason Thompson, who’s now won eight state championships as a head coach. “When you have a guard like Buford, she does everything. Finds her teammates and does some things that she and few others can do. I told her she has a gift that’s just amazing.”
Buford was named the game’s Most Valuable for the second straight year. She was also the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year last season.
“It’s a good feeling to go back to back. We did what we were supposed to do,” Buford said. “Got where we wanted to, but tonight I feel like I could’ve done better in other areas than points. I did what I had to do to help get my team the win.”
Nadia Gillespie added 10 points for Olive Branch.
“We had to win on the boards, make free throws and do the little things in order to be successful tonight. We had a lot of defensive stops in a row and found ways to score,” Thompson said. “This is one special group and they were very competitive and glad they ended the season champions.”
Jakayla Johnson had 10 points to lead Clinton (25-5).