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Tishomingo County smothers Morton 37-17 to clinch first-ever state basketball championship

On a day when offense was hard to come by, the Lady Braves turned in one of their best defensive performances of the season

They say defense wins championships, and it was definitely true Saturday morning at the Mississippi Coliseum.

Tishomingo County put on a masterclass in defense, as the Lady Braves raced past Morton 37-17 to claim the MHSAA Girls Class 4A State Championship on Saturday morning at the Mississippi Coliseum.

It was Tishomingo County’s (30-3) first state title in school history.

“We worked so hard for this," Tishomingo County coach Brian Middleton said. "We’ve preached all week that this is our opportunity to go do it and get it done, and we did. This was the goal the last two years, and I’m so proud of the girls for not shying away from that goal and finding a way.”

Tishomingo County never trailed. The Lady Braves held a slim 4-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, but created some separation in the second. The Lady Braves held Morton (29-3) to just four points in the quarter and ended the first half on a 15-2 run to take a commanding 19-6 halftime lead.

Morton finally responded with a 7-0 run to start the second half and trimmed the Tishomingo County lead to 19-13, but the Lady Braves scored the final 10 points in the quarter to stretch it back out to 29-13.

They held the ball for most of the final period, and limited Morton to four points in the final eight minutes.

“We had to be tough on defense, because we knew we might struggle to score at times," Middleton said. " If we kept guarding, we could eventually break them down. Besides the start of the third quarter, we guarded really well. We were tough today and it feels so good to bring a state championship back to Tishomingo County.”

Reese Moore had a game-high 14 points to lead Tishomingo County and was named the game’s most valuable player. Her sister, Meg Moore, added 11 points for the Lady Braves.

“We preach defense and rebounding wins games," Reese Moore said. "We were tough today and got it done. This is a very special feeling to win a state championship my senior year, and do it with my sister is great.”

Nazrun Lyles had six points to lead Morton. The Lady Panthers finished the season 30-2.

“Hats off to Tishomingo," Morton coach Matt Wilbanks said. "They had a great game plan, very fundamental, and they locked us down and we didn’t make shots. We had a great season and I told the girls, after spring break, we’re getting back to work to get back here.”