A tragedy has turned into triumph.
East Webster’s late game rally allowed the Lady Wolverines to outlast West Tallahatchie for their first state championship in school history, with a 68-64 win in overtime of the MHSAA Class 2A girls title game on Saturday.
“It feels great. Words cannot express how proud I am of the girls,” East Webster coach Bill Brand said. “After going through what have had to go through, they deserve this.”
East Webster (31-1) wore ribbons during the game in honor of Stan Hughey, the Lady Wolverines former coach, who committed suicide in December.
Quantesha Patterson poured in a game-high 39 points on 15-of-27 shooting to lead East Webster. After trailing by many as 16 points in the first half, the Lady Wolverines stormed back to cut the West Tallahatchie lead to 39-36 going into the fourth quarter.
Down 54-53, Patterson made one of two free throws with two seconds left to send the game into overtime.
In the extra period, Patterson again came up big from the free throw line, hitting a foul shot that put East Webster up 68-61.
“I knew I just had to come throw and make those free throws,” Patterson said. “We wanted to do this for Coach Hughey because we knew he was watching over us.”
Lynesha Patterson added 11 points, while Macie Allen chipped in six points for the Lady Wolverines.
Despite its dominant finish, East Webster grabbed its first lead when the game was forced into overtime. Allen hit a free throw in the first minute of the extra period to give the Lady Wolverines a 55-54 advantage.
“Girls came together and didn’t miss a beat,” Brand said. “West Tallahatchie came out on fire to start the game, but (when) streaky teams shots don’t fall, they get shaky and we made them pay.”
Vaquela Pimpton led West Tallahatchie with 25 points, while Nikkeria Harris added 14 points and Raven Hawkins chipped in 12 points for the Lady Choctaws (22-6).
Contact Brandon Shields at (601) 961-7248 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @BShields_CL on Twitter.