Class 2A Girls

JACKSON — Lake is back-to-back state champions.

And they played like it.

Behind the stellar play of Laniesha Palmer along with second half defense Lake ran past Heidelberg 67-48 to claim the MHSAA Girls Class 2A State Championship for the second consecutive year at the Mississippi Coliseum on Friday afternoon.

It’s the Lady Hornets (24-9) fourth state title in school history.

“Something we talked about at the beginning is to set the tempo and take control of the game for the whole game,” said first-year Lake coach Holly Moncrief. “That’s exactly what they did. I can’t say enough about the girls, I’m so proud of them.”

Lake never trailed the entire game.

The Lady Hornets jumped out to an 8-3 lead and at the buzzer Taylor Clark banked in a three-pointer to give Lake a 13-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Heidelberg began the second quarter on an 8-4 run to cut the Lady Hornet lead down to 17-13, however the Lady Hornets ended the first half on a 10-4 run to take a 29-19 lead at halftime.

The second half is when Palm tool over for Lake.

Palm scored 10 of the Lady Hornets 17 points in the third quarter as Lake held a 46-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Heidelberg did cut the Lake lead down to 33-27 early in the frame before Lake went on a quick 6-2 run to stretch their lead out to 10 points.

In the fourth quarter each team traded baskets, but Lake never had their lead cut below 12 points.

“Laneisha has one speed and its fast. She has truly been a leader for us, and I love to see her play,” Moncrief said. “This means a lot as first year coach here. A lot of hard work, late nights and watching them execute and do the things we needed to do. They were an experience team that won it last year I just had to stay out of the way.”

Palme finished with a game-high 32 points to lead Lake and was named the games most valuable player. Kelis Odom added 10 points for the Lady Hornets.

“I got a little nervous and told my teammates we got to pick it up and keep our head up. We came out there and we never stopped and did what we had to do,” Palm said. “This feels good going back-to-back my senior year.”

Mariyah Farrell had 14 points to lead Heidelberg, while Annerrea Ducksworth added 12 points for the Lady Oilers (26-7).

“Hats off to Lake their defending champs for a reason and they wanted it more,” said Heidelberg coach Broderick Hall. “Got down early and kept having to play catch up and got rattled and that one player she took to us and beat us.”