Corinth outscored Pontotoc 30-18 over the final 13 minutes Thursday en route to a 68-56 in the fourth and semifinal of the Division 1-4A Tournament at Davis Event Center on the campus of Itawamba Community College.
Corinth (21-5) will face top-seeded Shannon tonight at 8:30. The two split the season series, winning on the other's floor, and will host a North Half Tournament game on Tuesday. Shannon and Corinth played in the previous two title games, with Shannon winning in 2012 and Corinth prevailing last season.
Pontotoc (19-10) and Itawamba will battle in the consolation game.
The Corinth girls lost to top-seeded Pontotoc 73-42 in the first game on Thursday. The Lady Warriors, who will be on the road Monday for North Half action, face Shannon -- a 56-54 loser to Itawamba -- in the consolation game.
The Warriors, seeking their fourth straight appearance in the state championship, entered the postseason on the heels of two straight losses. Corinth (21-5) had also dropped three of its last five contests, a streak that began with an 87-79 loss at Pontotoc on Jan. 21.
Corinth led 33-30 at intermission, suffering though a 1-of-9 showing from the floor and eight turnovers in the second quarter. CHS led by as many as 10 at one point before going cold. Desmin Harris ended Corinth's 7:28 drought from the floor with an inside bucket with 32 seconds left in the half.
Two ties and as many lead changes in the first three minutes of the third quarter left the game tied at 38-all. Corinth closed the quarter on a 10-5 advantage, including four by Harris and a bucket each from Antares Gwyn, Raheem Sorrell and Kendall Stafford, to lead 51-43 after three.
CHS extended the lead to 12 twice in the final quarter before Pontotoc got to within six twice -- the last at the 2:30 mark. Corinth, which missed 13 of its 32 free throws overall, hit 7-of-10 the final 2:24 to hold off Pontotoc.
Corinth 15 9 8 10 -- 42
Pontotoc 19 19 14 21 -- 73
CORINTH (42): Aspen Stricklen 17, Aundrea Adams 6, Teosha Boyd 6, Jamia Kirk 6, Che Curlee 5, Tamia Clark 2.
PONTOTOC (73): Marlee Hatcher 25, Alex Brown 15, Kayla Russell 10, Olivia Owen 8, Kayla Rush 4, E.C. Stegall 3, Emmy Hamill 3, Margaret Hatcher 3, Jatyjia Jones 2.
3-Pointers: (C) Kirk 2, Boyd 2, Curlee. (P) Marlee Hatcher 3, Russell 2, Stegall, Brown.
Record: Corinth 11-14
(B) Corinth 68, Pontotoc 56
Pontotoc 14 16 13 13 -- 56
Corinth 23 10 18 17 -- 68
PONTOTOC (56): Anthony Townsend 12, Ty Jones 12, Jaques Townsend 8, Kaleb Barnes 8, Delvin Zinn 5, Jabrin Pegues 5, Caleb Warren 4, Cory Williams 2.
CORINTH (68): Raheem Sorrell 16, Kendall Stafford 15, Desmin Harris 13, Antares Gwyn 12, Jose Contreras 8, Dee Herman 4.
3-Pointers: (P) Pegues. (C) Harris 2, Stafford.
Records: Pontotoc 19-10, Corinth 21-5