GIRLS: Prairie View 40, Simpson 36
Dani Anderson turned out 19 points and 14 rebounds as the Prairie View Lady Spartans erased a four-point fourth quarter deficit to upend Simpson County 40-36 Tuesday afternoon in the opening game of the MAIS Class 2A State Tournament.
Prairie View (28-7), the No. 3 seed from the North, advances to the semifinals where it will play South State champion and seven-time defending state champion Leake (37-0) on Friday at 1 p.m.
In Tuesday's game, Simpson darted out to an 11-7 first quarter lead and carried a 24-17 advantage into halftime. Prairie View closed the deficit to 32-28 at the end of three, before outscoring the Lady Cougars 12-4 in the fourth quarter.
Simpson, the South State runner-up, maintained its lead until late in the fourth quarter.
"They started trying to hold the ball and I put my fast bunch out there," said Prairie View coach Ed Bain, referring to Sarah Cammarasana and Amery Clark. "They didn't have anything to lose, so they started going after the ball and (Simpson) started turning in over and missed a couple of one-and-ones down the stretch.
"We hung in there and beat a good team today."
Anderson had a big game defensively as well as offensively for the Lady Spartans.
"Dani really stepped it up today," Bain said. "Besides the 19 points, she had four steals in the last four or five minutes."
Rounding out the Prairie View scoring were Kristen Oliphant with seven points, Tori Simmons with six, Erika Guerrero and Cammarasana with three and Jay Hicks with two.
Brittney Gardner led the Lady Cougars with 17 points — 14 in the first half. Also contributing to the scorebook were Megan Griffin with eight, Lauren Griffin with five, Grace Knight with four and Abby Dunston with two.