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Biggersville Girls capture first state championship with 56-53 win over McEvans

Asia Stafford turned in the double-double with 20 points and 16 rebounds to earn MVP honors

JACKSON — Before Thursday's 1A Girls Championship, Biggersville coach Cliff Little challenged Asia Stafford and her teammates.

His challenge was accepted.

After having to play catch-up for most of the game, the Lady Lions used a big fourth quarter to rally past McEvans 56-53 to claim the MHSAA Girls Class 1A State Championship at the Mississippi Coliseum.

It’s the Lady Lions (30-2) first state title in school history.

“There’s a lot to basketball and it’s not all about x’s and o’s. It’s about character and all of those girls are full of it,” Little said. “They have no quit in them, and to do it on this stage with our backs against the wall several times is a testament to what type of people they are and how they trust one another.”

The first half was a game of runs. McEvans opened the game by jumping out to a 13-6 lead, Biggersville ended the first quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 16-13 lead.

In the second quarter, the Lady Lions extended their lead to 23-15, but the Lady Warriors end the first half on an 8-2 run to take a 26-25 lead at halftime.

To begin the third quarter, McEvans went on a 12-2 run to extend their lead to 38-27. But Biggersville ended the quarter on a 14-4 run to cut the Lady Warrior down to one point at 42-41 heading into the fourth quarter.

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To begin the fourth quarter the Lady Lions went on a 10-2 run to take a 51-44 lead with 3:53 remaining.

McEvans got back-to-back buckets from Kayla Howard to cut the Biggersville lead down to three points at 51-48.

Hannah Seago hit a pair of free throws with 1:01 remaining to give Biggersville a 54-48 lead and then hit another pair with three seconds left to give the Lady Lions a 56-50 lead and seal the game.

“We knew we had to rebound well and called them out last night and said we are going to need a lot of great effort and they did that,” Little said. “This is so special. McEvans is a great team and very athletic and got after it.”

Asia Stafford had 20 points and 16 rebounds to lead Biggersville, and was named the game’s most valuable player.

“I’m so happy. I was thinking just fight, play hard, and block out,” Stafford said. “We had to keep pushing and fighting and never gave up.”

Aaliyah Moody added 13 points for Biggersville, while Goldee Butler and Hannah Seago each had 10 points for the Lady Lions.

Shakenya Cooper had a game-high 24 points to lead McEvans, while Kayla Howard added 17 points for the Lady Warriors (25-5).

“They had a lot of second chance points and that hurt us and we worked on it. When we had the lead we couldn’t keep it and couldn’t control the game,” said McEvans coach Ricky Lunford. “We was hoping this was our year and it wasn’t and now we’ve got to build on it.”