Stonewall’s Lady Longhorns started the season 10-0 and in the process showed they could score, rebound, pass and play defense. In Saturday night’s showdown with fellow unbeaten Allen for the girls championship of the Pontotoc Conference Tournament, they proved they can also switch gears.

With leading scorers Rena Serpa and Felicia Logsdon both in early foul trouble, Stonewall coach Christie Jennings opted to take the air out of the ball, and, as a result, her club went to the locker room at halftime on the short end of an ugly 15-13 score.

But Stonewall picked up the tempo in the second half, scoring 37 points over the final two periods — including 15 by Logsdon — and racing to a 50-41 victory over a young, stubborn Lady Mustang club that fell to 6-1 with the loss.

With the victory, the Lady Longhorns became the area’s only remaining unbeaten team and redeemed themselves after a tough loss to Vanoss in the finals of last year’s tournament in a game that saw Stonewall blow a nine-point second-half lead.

“Last year, we just weren’t mature enough,” Jennings said. “Last year we would have just folded with our top two scorers on the bench, but this team is different.”

In the boys’ final, top seed Roff — ranked No. 7 in Class A — got 21 points from Dearth Parker and turned in another amazing defensive effort to improve to 10-0 with a 44-27 victory over Tupelo.

The boys third-place game featured the evening’s best finish, with Stonewall star Brian Monroe draining a 3-pointer from the corner with 30 seconds left to give the Longhorns the lead for good in a tense 59-57 victory over Allen.


Stonewall 50, Allen 41

Serpa, the Lady Longhorns’ six-foot junior center, picked up her second foul midway through the first quarter, Logsdon joined her on the bench with her second personal just over two minutes later, and neither returned in the first half. That left senior Tobie Daniel, sophomore guards Tesia Worcester and Cherokee Brown and the Stonewall bench to carry the load until halftime.

Lorissa Skelton’s putback of a miss by teammate Kelsey Gee gave Allen its biggest lead of the game at 13-9 with 5:20 left in the half, but Worcester assisted on a jumper by Kristie Byrd and Brown passed to Shelby Lackey for a point-blank shot to tie the score at the 3:45 mark. Then, after Skelton’s third field goal of the half gave Allen its last lead, Stonewall held the ball for the final 1:25 of the half, with Brown missing a jumper at the buzzer.

But Jennings’ club returned to full strength to start the third quarter, and Logsdon, Serpa and Daniel sparked a 9-0 run in the first 2:25 of the period to put Stonewall in charge, 22-15. Serpa started the outburst with a turnaround jumper off a feed from Daniel, Logsdon hit a free throw and a field goal (the result of Daniel’s offensive rebound), Brown sank a pair of free throws to make it 20-15, and Daniel got a steal and passed to Worcester for a layup to increase the lead to 22-15.

After a 3-pointer by Brittnea Nemecek and a bucket by Allen star Kelsey Gee cut the lead to 22-20, Stonewall went on another 9-0 run that featured a pair of Logsdon field goals (including a 3-pointer off a Daniel assist), and the Lady Longhorns carried a 31-22 lead into the fourth quarter.

“Tobie never gets a lot of credit, but she’s a constant for us night in and night out,” Jennings said of Daniel, who scored only one point Saturday but had a steal, two key rebounds and three assists and was part of most of the key plays in the pivotal third quarter.

Allen cut the lead to two points early in the final period, when Gee rebounded a missed free throw by Josie Bias and put the shot back in to make it 34-32 with 5:50 left, and Stonewall still led only 44-41 with 1:05 to play after a 3-pointer by Jerrica Mullicane. But Logsdon hit 5-of-6 free throws in the final 41 seconds to preserve the win.

Logsdon finished with 15 points — all in the second half — and also had eight rebounds (six in the second half) and two assists, and Worcester (13 points) and Brown (10) were also in double figures.

Gee led all scorers in the game with 16 points and added 10 rebounds, four steals, two blocked shots and two assists, but she was only 7-for-24 from the field against the rugged Stonewall defense and was the only Allen player in double figures. The Lady Longhorns limited Allen to 16 field goals in 46 attempts, and the Lady Mustangs didn’t shoot a free throw after the first quarter, while Stonewall went 18-for-30 from the line.


Roff 44, Tupelo 27

The airtight Roff defense — which surrendered only 76 points in three tournament wins — had one of its best nights of the season, limiting a talented Tupelo club to only four field goals and nine total points in the second half.

Parker, who crammed 12 of his 13 points in Friday’s win over Allen (also 44-27) into a two-minute span of the third quarter, scored 14 in the first half Saturday — including four 3-pointers in eight attempts — as his club sprinted to a 27-18 halftime lead. Parker, a 5-10 senior guard, also had a game-high eight rebounds to lead the Tigers to a 24-12 advantage on the boards.

Roff forward C. J. Stewart and Spanish exchange student Xavier Sedo — who came into the game when Stewart picked up his third foul with 3:04 left in the second quarter and saw his most extended action of the season — each scored eight points.

Patrick Blevins and Jason Trimmer, who join Parker to give Roff the area’s quickest backcourt, combined for only five points (all by Trimmer), but they dished out 10 assists (six by Blevins) and pulled down five rebounds.

Roff limited Tupelo (7-4) to only 11 field goals and an amazing 25 total shots in the game, but Tupelo sophomore star Cameron Mann — who had 26 points and 13 rebounds against Stonewall Friday — wrapped up an outstanding weekend with 14 points and a team-high five rebounds in the loss. Randy McCurry, who entered the tournament as the Tigers’ leading scorer, and William Boaz added six points for Tupelo, but they combined to take only nine shots against the swarming Roff defense.

“We’ve set a goal to limit teams to less than 35 points, and we’ve been able to do that in our last few games,” first-year Roff coach Darrick Farriell said. “The effort on defense was great tonight.

“Coach (Clay) Weller does a good job with that Tupelo team,” Farriell added. “Neither of our teams has super athletes, but they both worked hard the whole game.”


Stonewall 59, Allen 57

Allen’s Chris Thyne converted a steal into a layup to give the Mustangs (5-2 after a second straight loss) a 55-54 lead with a minute to play, but Jake Munday found Monroe — who had a game-high 17 points — alone in the corner, and the Mustangs’ senior sharpshooter drained a 3-pointer to finally put the Longhorns (6-5) in front for good.

Brandon Ross grabbed the rebound after Allen’s Brandon Postoak misfired on a layup that would have tied the game with nine seconds left and passed to Monroe, who was fouled and sank two free throws to make it 59-55 and offset Preston Frazier’s layup at the buzzer.

Stonewall led, 25-16, at halftime, but Allen rallied to take a 47-41 lead on a a Thyne 3-pointer with 6:45 to play before Allen countered with an 11-1 run to go in front, 52-48, on a Ross trey at the 2:22 mark. The Longhorns scored seven of the next nine points, however, to take their last lead on the game on Thyne’s steal and layup and set up Monroe’s late heroics.

Center Bo Scribner had 16 points (12 in the first half) and Bronsore Gore added 11 to join Monroe in double figures, and Thyne scored 17 points and Frazier had 16 to lead Allen. Corby King also scored 11 points in the loss, including nine after intermission.