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Lady Jaguars stay hot, improve to 5-0 Featured

Broad Street action 12-6Broad Street’s Toneisha Bell (5) sets up a play against Ruleville Tuesday night in Ruleville.

RULEVILLE — The Broad Street Lady Jaguars are on a roll to start the 2017-18 basketball season.

Under first year head coach Darnell McNeil, the Lady Jaguars are sitting unblemished at 5-0 after beating the Ruleville Central Lady Tigers 49-24 here Tuesday night.

The Lady Tigers fell to 4-6 on the year. They played Tuesday’s contest without leading scorer Jacoriah Bracey, who sat out the contest for undisclosed reasons.

Nevertheless, the Lady Jaguars continued to roll with a balanced attack, which McNeil is always pleased to see.

“We take what the defense gives us and our mentality is to always share the ball. Our mentality is one for all and all for one,” McNeil said. Every night we have a different leading scorer and that way no one can key in on one player.

The Lady Jaguars held a 7-4 lead to end the first quarter. Broad Street’s defense held the Lady Tigers to only three points in the second quarter while the Lady Jaguars scored 16 points to take a 23-7 lead into the locker room for the break.

The way the Lady Jaguars played in the first half is the way McNeil envisioned they would play to start the year.

“Everything is on schedule the way I suspected it would be, McNeil said. We have been playing well although we looked a little rusty tonight. The girls have really improved on defense and hopefully we will continue to get better as the season goes on.

The Lady Jaguars maintained their momentum throughout the second half outscoring the Lady Tigers 13-6 in the third quarter and 13-10 in the fourth to secure the 49-24 victory.

The senior girls that McNeil has are the same group he coached when they were in the eighth grade when the team finished that season undefeated, and he is excited about the potential the team has moving forward.

“This has been a transition, McNeil said. They were kids then and now they are young ladies. A lot of changes have happened in four years, but my familiarity with them is one of the main reasons I took this job.

The Lady Jaguars will face their toughest challenge of the season Friday when they host the 7-0 Leland Lady Cubs in Shelby. Leland is coming off a 64-61 win over the Humphreys County Cowgirls last night.

Destiny Hall led Broad Street with 16 points and six rebounds, followed by Mashontiara Davis with 13 points. Toneisha Bell, who was one of the top female basketball players in the area two years ago, is back playing for the first time since her sophomore year following two knee surgeries. She contributed four points with 10 rebounds, nine blocks, three steals and three assists to aid the Lady Jaguars.

MeKevia Shaw led Ruleville with 11 points, and Deandrea Craft added eight points in the loss.

Ruleville will play North Panola in the I-55 Classic in Sardis Saturday at 5:30 p.m.