Quitman’s A’Keyia McDyess (25) faces off agaist Bay High’s Ashley Jordan (30) in the low post on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in the MHSAA State Basketball Tournament semifinals at the Mississippi Coliseum on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds in Jackson, Miss.
The iron was kind to Jamaya Galloway.
The Bay sophomore guard threw up an off-balance shot with less than four seconds remaining in the MHSAA Class 4A girls semifinal. The ball bounced back and forth on both sides of the rim at least five times before sinking through the net at the buzzer, giving the Lady Tigers a 49-47 edge over Quitman on Wednesday afternoon.
“It took that ball to come off that rim and bounce into the net at least six minutes,” Bay coach Debra Triplett joked.
A year after reigning 4A champion Itawamba AHS defeated the Lady Tigers in the semis, Bay (27-5) is headed back to championship game for the first time since 2013 where it will face Raymond at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Prior to Galloway’s game winner, Bay wrestled back the lead in the second half, leading Quitman 38-30 going into the fourth quarter.
After a two-point performance in the first half, 6-foot-1 junior forward Simone Jackson scored 10 points for the Lady Tigers in the third quarter.
“It’s funny. Right after the second half started, (Jackson) wasn’t doing much and I went to one of my assistant coaches and said if Simone doesn’t step up there I’m going to have so sub her,” Triplett said.
Jackson rose to the occasion as the catalyst for her team and recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Ashley Jorden also reached double-figures with 11 points.
Quitman (28-9) charged back late in the game by exercising its strength at the free throw line. With 1:48 remaining in the game, Takerri Cooks’ basket cut the Lady Tigers lead to four points. With under a minute to play, Shonte Hailes made one of two free throws from the line to tie the game 47-47.
The Lady Tigers had overtime within their reach. Galloway, however, wanted to seal the victory in regulation.
“Honestly I was thinking I might as well put up a shot because even if I didn’t make it, we would have gone to overtime,” Galloway said. “I guess I just got lucky it bounced in.”