By Eddie Pells
AP National Writer
Tis the season to play for your basketball lives. Win or Go Home is in the air. This is what all the practices, extra workouts, film sessions and nervousness is about.
Fortunately, the format has changed to the point where you can literally lose your first game, but still advance into the playoffs if you win the consolation game. The consolation game is comprised of the two teams that lost early in the week and most consolation games will be played Friday. The “road to the big house,” is what every team statewide must travel.
Germantown is the hosting site for the 3-5A tournament. Canton, Grenada, Holmes County Central, and Germantown all belong to this division. Canton’s girls versus Germantown’s girls has been the game of the tournament thus far.
Both teams played hard. Early on in the game, Canton could not score. Missing shots or turning the ball over was their achilles heel. Defensive intensity was nowhere to be found within the Lady Tigers. Germantown, came out in front of the home crowd with purpose and determination. Thoroughly capitalizing on the mistakes made by Canton, Germantown found themselves leading by 10 early in the second quarter. Despite the lead, Germantown struggled to keep pressure on Canton by causing unforced turnovers.
The first half wasn’t a thing of beauty, but by intermission, Germantown was leading 15 to 8. That’s right, 15 to 8. Points were scarce. Basketball fans know that the second half provides more points. This was the case here. Head coach Melissa Word turned up the heat in the third quarter. She unlocked the press. Germantown struggled with it. Canton quickly erased their deficit. The Tiger faithful that drove down from Canton began to cheer. Fast forwarding to the fourth, both teams exchanged leads. Pressure packed moments ensued. One thing to note also, both teams are fairly “young.” Germantown only has two graduating seniors. Canton, does not have any. A solid group of girls in the 11th and 10th grade fuel Canton.
Under a minute to go in the game, Germantown had 3 chances to tie or take the lead. They did neither. The ball would just not drop into the basket for them. Sprinting to a loose ball, Iyania Davis, was fouled hard by Germantown. She composed herself, went to the free thow line, and hit both of her free throws.
Germantown had another shot at it. Coach Jamie Glasgow, drew up a play for her team. Germantown had two decent shots at it. Going for a third chance, Iyania Davis from Canton, stole the ball. Canton wins 31 to 29.
They will play Friday, at Germantown, against Holmes County Central for the 3-5a championship. However, win or lose, Canton is still in the playoffs next week. Germantown will play Grenada on Friday in the consolation game. The loser of this game will be done for the season. The Lady Mavs will be hoping their crowd can push them to victory, if not, season is over…. Win or Go Home!