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BLOG: Lafayette girls hold off Shannon, advance in 4A playoffs

Shelbi Buford hit a pair of free throws with nine seconds left to help the Lafayette girls basketball team fend off Shannon’s upset bid in the opening round of the MHSAA Class 4A playoffs with a 43-41 win at the Lafayette High gym Monday.

The Commodores (21-6) advanced to host Leake Central, a winner over Greenwood, on Friday. A time has yet to be determined.

Buford led Lafayette with 16 points while junior guard Shaniyah Buford added 14 points. Asia Anderson had a game-high 20 points for Shannon, which pushed the top-seeded Commodores to the limit as the No. 4 seed out of Region 1.

Lafayette led by as many as 13 in the first half, but the Red Raiders used their pressurized defense to turn the Commodores over and methodically catch up. Shannon, behind 13 second-half points from Anderson, took the lead early in the fourth quarter before the teams spent the rest of the game going back and forth.

Anderson appeared to give Shannon the lead again with 23 seconds left when she split a pair of defenders on the wing and drove in for a bucket, but Orianna Shaw slid over to draw a charge and negate the basket to keep the game knotted at 41. The teams traded turnovers before Shelbi Buford sank both freebies after being fouled on a breakaway, and the Commodores got a stop on the Red Raiders’ final possession to seal the victory despite scoring just six points in the third quarter.

See Tuesday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage of Monday’s game.