TUPELO — After the Roff Lady Tigers cut a 15-point second-half deficit to one on a 3-pointer by Stacy Ensey with 4:13 to play, host Tupelo needed a big play to try and grab the momentum back it had lost.

Kendra Pearce gave them just that. The THS junior drained a long 3-pointer of her own on Tupelo’s next trip down the court that kept the host Lady Tigers ahead for good. Coach Brian Davis’ club then hit plenty of free throws down the stretch to pull away for a 57-45 win.

“She’s our go-to girl and she played well for us tonight,” Davis said of Pearce, who scored a game-high 26 points to go with nine rebounds. “But I thought overall we played pretty well. It was a good win for us this close to the playoffs.”

Tupelo (No. 17 in Class B) improved to 16-7 on the year while Roff dipped to 10-12.

In the boys’ contest, high-powered Roff delivered a third-quarter knockout punch in a 54-41 win. It was Roff’s third victory over the host Tupelo Tigers this season.

Coach Darrick Farriell’s team improved to 21-1 on the year while Tupelo fell to 15-8.

Roff travels to Latta on Tuesday while Tupelo is scheduled to entertain Milburn Tuesday night.

GIRLS

Tupelo 57, Roff 45

After Pearce hit her NBA-range 3-pointer to give Tupelo a 45-41 lead, Roff got with two points on two more occasions — the final on a putback by Jessica Bacon with 2:43 remaining in the game. But that would be the final points of the night by coach Scott Morgan’s club as Tupelo ended the game by making 10 straight free throws — six by Katie Campbell.

The first seven minutes of the game was a wash as Tess Truett’s 3-pointer tied the score at 11-all at the 1:47 mark of the opening frame.

But Tupelo scored the next 12 points in a row — including six by Pearce — and grabbed a 23-11 lead midway through he second quarter.

Two free throws by Heather Martin at the 2:12 mark of the third period gave Tupelo its biggest lead of the game at 36-21.

Roff then got seven points from reserve Jennifer Gordy — on a pair of 3-pointers and a free throw — and climbed back into the game with a 20-6 scoring spree.

Roff hit five more field goals than Tupelo, but the hosts outscored the visitors by 20 from the charity stripe. Tupelo hit 24-of-31 free throws compared to 4-of-9 from Roff. Tupelo also outrebounded Roff, 40-27, with Campbell leading the way with 12. She scored 17 points and went 9-of-10 from the free throw line.

Desiree Bell was solid for Tupelo with six points, five rebounds and five assists.

Kayla Balthrop led a balanced Roff scoring attack with 10 points, while Truett and McKenzie Phillips scored eight points each. Bacon scored six points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

BOYS

Roff 54, Tupelo 41

The visiting Tigers used a 15-2 run to open the third quarter and give themselves some much-needed breathing room against the home town Tigers.

Included in Roff’s third-quarter surge were three quick points by 6-10 center Rickey Thompson, who saw his first action since suffering a knee injury early last month. He entered the game at the 6:13 mark of the period and left with 4:36 to play. He would finish with five points and three rebounds.

“Rickey looked pretty good. We’re just going to have to get him back in shape and get the strength built up in his knee. But he said it wasn’t sore after the game,” Farriell said.

Roff tried to put Tupelo away early as back-to-back 3-pointers by Dearth Parker put the visitors on top 23-7 at the 4:37 mark of the second period. But Tupelo finished the first half on a 10-1 run to pull within 25-17 at the break.

Patrick Blevin’s conventional 3-point play after a steal and assist by Parker at the 2:31 mark of the third period gave Roff its biggest lead of the game at 40-19.

Parker hit six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 21 points and also had six rebounds and three steals for Roff. C.J. Stewart was the only other Roff player in double figures with 12 points. Atlee Kile added six points and six boards for RHS.

Cameron Mann had 14 points and seven rebounds to lead Tupelo while William Boaz scored 10 before fouling out.

———o———

TIGER NOTES: Roff guard Jason Trimmer spent much of the game in foul trouble and scored just two points ... Roff was supposed to play Milburn Saturday night but the games were cancelled because the MHS boy’s team didn’t have enough eligible players. Tupelo is supposed to host Milburn on Tuesday and as of Friday, THS principal Kevin Mann said those Senior Night games would still take place ... Roff’s Megan Odom is scheduled to have surgery this Wednesday to repair an injured shoulder... Roff’s C.J. Stewart had been fighting a stomach illness earlier in the week, but appeared to be fine by game time Friday nght.

This Week's Circulars