For Pearl it was all about a fast start.
The Lady Pirates couldn’t have asked for a better one.
Pearl raced out to a 12-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back as the Lady Pirates raced past unbeaten Greenville 57-39 in the semifinals of the MHSAA Girls Class 6A playoffs at the Mississippi Coliseum on Wednesday night.
The Lady Pirates (31-3) will face Region 6-6A foe Terry for the Class 6A State Championship on Saturday night at 6 p.m.
“I thought we executed our game plan. Our game plan was trying to run the floor and stretch the floor. At half we were in control,” said Pearl coach Jason Kennedy. “I told the girls before the game it was important for us to have good start and jump on them early and we did.”
Makayla Minett had 20 points to lead Pearl, while Jayla Alexander added 17 points and Olivia Knight had 14 points for the Lady Pirates.
Mary Starnes had 13 points to lead Greenville, while Lazericka Rhodes added seven points for the Honey Bees (31-1).
“It felt we were shell shocked in the first half. We didn’t start playing well until the third quarter and we were down big,” said Greenville coach Dakedreon Lampkin. “We had too many breakdowns on defense and against teams like that. They made us pay for our mistakes.”
Terry 48, Hernando 44
Ayani Cockrell had a game-high 18 points as the Lady Bulldogs held off the Lady Tigers in the semifinals of the MHSAA Girls Class 6A playoffs.
Taniya Cavett added eight points for Terry, while Cathy Burse chipped in seven points for the Lady Bulldogs (26-8), who’s in the 6A state title game for the first time in school history.
Nakeyvia McKinzie had 15 points to lead Hernando, while Zuri Dunlap added 12 points and Nichole Wolfe chipped in 11 points for the Lady Tigers (26-7).
Meridian 64, Tupelo 43
Makeem Roberts would have a game-high 20 points as the Wildcats would use a big third quarter to get past the Golden Wave in the semifinals of the MHSAA Boys Class 6A playoffs.
Jarvis Campbell added 16 points for the Wildcats (26-4), including 13 straight points in the third quarter.
Meridian will be in its third straight state title game and aiming for its second state title in last three years.
Josh Mitchell had 11 points to lead Tupelo (22-11).
Starkville 64, Brandon 61
Zeke Cook and Atavius Jones each had double-doubles as the Yellowjackets held off the Bulldogs in the semifinals of the MHSAA Boys Class 6A playoffs.
Cook had 19 points and 18 rebounds to lead Starkville, while Jones added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Yellowjackets (29-1).
Tyler Talley chipped in 10 points and hit three of four free throws in the final six seconds of the game to seal it for Starkville.
Tyree Cochran had 19 points to lead Brandon, while Willie Miller added 17 points. Jacquez Jackson had 12 points and Jaquevias Tarvin had 10 points for Brandon (27-6).
The Yellowjackets will face Meridian for the Boys Class 6A State Championship on Saturday night at 8 p.m.
Holly Springs 67, St. Andrew’s 64
Holly Springs’ Derek Fountain would get a steal and Dylan King would make a 3-point play with 11 seconds left to lift the Hawks past the Saints in the semifinals of the MHSAA Boys Class 3A playoffs and in a rematch of last year’s Class 3A State Championship game.
Fountain had 23 points to lead Holly Springs, while Cori Bell added 17 points and King had 12 points for the Hawks (23-9), who is in the 3A state title game for a second straight season.
Rashad Bolden had a game-high 32 points to lead St. Andrew’s, while William Harkless added 11 points for Saints (22-11), the defending 3A state champions.
Velma Jackson 72, Yazoo County 61
Down goes the unbeaten.
Behind the stellar play of Josh Lee, Velma Jackson was able to get past sixth-ranked and undefeated Yazoo County in the semifinals of the MHSAA Boys Class 3A playoffs.
“Our guys did a good job of handling their press early and we didn’t turn the ball over, so that was the main thing,” said Velma Jackson coach Christopher Love. “Josh was outstanding for us today and when he’s the best player on the floor like he was today we feel good about ourselves.”
Lee had a game-high 25 points, while Jordan Harvey added 14 points for the Falcons. Charlie Jones had 13 points and Mason Riley had 12 points for Velma Jackson (24-6), who will be aiming for its fifth state championship in the last seven years.
Kejuan Frierson had 23 points to lead Yazoo County, while Emon Washington, who left the game in the third quarter with an injury but returned, added 15 points for the Panthers (30-1).
Falcons will face Holly Springs for the Boys Class 3A State Championship on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Kossuth 64, Forest 59
Zoe Essary had a game-high 25 points as the Lady Aggies held off the Lady Bearcats in the semifinals of the MHSAA Girls Class 3A playoffs.
Faith Williamson and Regan Bobo each had 11 points for Kossuth (24-7), who’s in the 3A state title game for the first time since 1994.
Vantasia Duncan had 23 points to lead Forest, while Cinnamon Williams added 13 points and JaMarial Jones had 10 points for the Lady Bearcats (27-6).
Belmont 47, Choctaw Central 38
The champs are out.
Macie Walker would have a game-high 25 points as the Lady Cardinals knocked off the two-defending 3A champion Lady Warriors in the semifinals of the MHSAA Girls Class 3A playoffs.
Karmen Payne added 11 points for the Lady Cardinals (25-8), who’s in the 3A state title game for the first time since 2015.
Meloney Thames had 13 points to lead Choctaw Central, while Kaedre Denson added 12 points for the Lady Warriors (32-3).
Belmont will face Region 1-3A foe Kossuth for the Girls Class 3A State Championship Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
1 p.m. — State Championship Game: Pine Grove vs. Simmons
3 p.m. — State Championship Game: East Marion vs. Okolona
6 p.m. — State Championship Game: Louisville vs. Ripley
8 p.m. — State Championship Game: Florence vs. Raymond