PARAGOULD -- What do 1999 and 2002 have in common? Manila Lady Lions defeat the Paragould Lady Rams by one point to win the Tri County Tournament. It was like watching a video of the 1999 game. The same tournament, same two teams, same point difference and same champion.
Manila defeated Paragould 63-62 in the finals held on Saturday at Paragould.
The Lady Lions tied the game 9-9 on a free throw by Marilou Perez with 2:38 remaining in the first quarter. Perez scored a couple of baskets to give Manila a 13-11 lead. Natalie Tippy pushed the lead to 15-13 before Paragould tied the score to end the quarter.
Amanda Henson's trey and a basket by Deborah White gave the Lady Lions a 20-15 lead to open the second quarter. Natalie Tippy's basket with 1:06 gave Manila a 29-23 lead. Paragould scored a free throw and a basket around two free throws to end the half with Manila up 31-24.
Tippy scored back to back buckets for a 35-28 Manila advantage before Paragould went on a 10-0 run to take the lead 38-35.
Tippy scored again followed by quick buckets from Perez and White giving the Lady Lions the 41-40 advantage. Manila pushed the lead to seven, 49-42 but allowed the Lady Rams a 5-0 run pulling within two 49-47 after three.
Paragould's Chastain Denning scored four straight for the Lady Rams to take a 51-44 lead to open the fourth. White's bucket tied the game at 51 before Tipy scored Manila's next six points to lead 57-55. The Lady Lions sank 6 of 8 free throws in the final stretch to gain the win.
Senior Christina Lester stated, "We gave 110 percent, it was cool because when Lou (Perez) and I were in the ninth grade we beat Paragould by one to win the Tri County."
Manila Coach Codie Malloy said of her team's performance, "We practiced hard all week and played great basketball; we are winning the close ones now by doing the little things and playing good defense. Paragould gave us a good game."
Natalie Tippy led all scorers with 21 points. Marilou Perez and Deborah White joined in double figures with 17 and 13 respectively. Also scoring for Manila were Whitney Shepard 5; Amanda Henson 3; Christina Lester 2; and Michelle Eubanks 2.
Paragold was led by Christine Walls and Taryn Pruitt with 13 points each. Nikki Mitchell added 12 and Chastain Denning 10 for the Lady Rams.
Third time was the charm as Manila avenged two earlier losses to BIC with a 54-31 victory at Thursday's Tri-County action. The Lady Lions held BIC to two field goals in the first half as Manila led 13-2 after one and 30-8 at the half. The Lady Lions led 46-19 after three before taking the win to advance.
Senior Marilou Perez led MHS with a career high 36 points. Others scoring were Christina Lester 6; Natalie Tippy 5; Deborah White 4; Amanda Henson 2; and Michelle Eubanks 1.
Leslie Cobb led BIC with 10 points. Others scoring were Sara Walker 8; Sasha Barnett 6; Valerie Willyerd 5; and Holly Cagle 2.
Manila Senior Lady Lions defeated Gosnell 52-26 in semi-final action on Friday night.
Michelle Eubanks scored a game high 15 points followed by Marilou Perez with 13. The Lady Lions led 30-13 at half.
Marcie Grant led Gosnell with 11.