The Arabia Mountain Lady Rams outscored the Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers 13-2 in the final 2:36 of the Region 5-AAAAA matchup to win 64-52 Jan. 5.
Arabia Mountain, ranked No. 7 by website Sandy’s Spiel, improved to 12-1 overall with its 11th consecutive victory and atop the region standings at 5-0.
The teams were tied at 38 at the end of the third quarter and after five lead changes in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, the Lady Rams took a 51-43 lead on Alina Shoemake’s drive to the basket with 5:41 to play.
Southwest DeKalb (7-10, 4-1), which had trailed by as much as 20 points in the first half, rallied back and Jayla Kimbrough’s basket finished a 7-0 run to pull her team within 51-50 with 2:36 to play.
Iyania Kitchens, a University of Mississippi signee, got inside for a layup with 2:27 to play to get the Lady Rams rolling on a 13-2 run. It was Kitchens’ ninth point of the third quarter.
Marissa Mills got an offensive rebound, layup and was fouled with 54 seconds to play. She hit the free throw to give Arabia Mountain a 60-52 lead.
Mills would add three more points in the final 33 seconds to help close out the 64-52 victory.
Iyanna McMillan scored 13 first half points as Arabia Mountain built a 27-7 lead with 5:56 left in the first half.
The Lady Panthers answered with a 14-1 run to end the first half led by Michaela Bennefield’s seven points to close the gap to 28-21.
Benefield would hit for three more points in the first 2:15 of the third quarter as the deficit dropped to 30-28. Shoemake would hit one of two free throws at the end of period to send the game into the final period knotted at 38-38.
Mills led Arabia Mountain with 18 points, McMillan added 17 points, Kitchens had 11 points and Shoemake had 10 points.
Benefield finished with a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double and Adrienna Thompson added a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double of her own for Southwest DeKalb.
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