Photo by Brandon Jackson

 By Robert Wilson
Photos by Brandon Jackson

       No. 3 seed Prep outscored No. 2 seed PCS 16-7 in the fourth quarter and went 6 for 6 from the free throw line in the final 37 seconds for its 6A state semifinal win.

       Prep improved to 21-12 and bounced back from a 60-36 loss to PCS Feb. 6 in Hattiesburg. Prep meets No. 1 seed MRA, 33-2, for the 6A state title Saturday at 2:15 p.m. Both teams advance to next week’s Overall tournament. PCS dropped to 24-9 and meets JA, 15-17, for third place Saturday at 1 p.m. The winner advances to next week’s Overall tournament. The loser ends its season.

       Prep led 24-19 at halftime before PCS outscored Prep 10-1 in the third quarter to take a 29-25 lead. But Prep regained the momentum and finished with the win.

       “It was a great effort on our girls part,” said Prep coach Michael McAnally, who has won 635 games (422 girls and 213 boys), and four state titles, two Overall titles and two Overall runner-up finishes in 23 seasons, the last 10 at Prep. “We knew we had to tweak the way we defended PCS with all of their shooters, and I thought our girls did a great job following the game plan. They punched us in the mouth pretty good at their place last week. Our girls really stepped up to the challenge and I couldn’t be prouder of their performance.”

       Sophomore Meg Barbour led Prep with 11 points and eight rebounds. Junior Taylor Caton, a Memphis commitment in softball, had nine points. Junior Ann Magee Stradinger had seven points, junior Claire Crosby had six points and sophomore Torrey Polk had 6 points, 4 four assists and 4 steals.