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Lady Mustangs come back to beat Central in semifinals

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Playoff basketball is typically when stars shine the brightest and Houston standout junior Jayla Hemingway was no exception Monday night.

The 5-foot-10 combo guard helped right the ship for the struggling Lady Mustangs by scoring 34 points in a close 67-64 win over Memphis Central in the semifinal round of the Region 8-AAA tournament at Whitehaven.

Houston, which hasn’t lost a game since 2017, found itself in the unfamiliar position of being down 37-30 at halftime against the Lady Warriors.

However, Hemingway took the reigns in the second half and led Houston’s 37-27 charge over the final two quarters of action.

Houston junior combo guard Jayla Hemingway combined for 58 total points in the Lady Mustangs’ first two games in the regional tournament on Saturday and Monday. Houston was scheduled to play Southwind in the championship game Wednesday night. The Lady Mustangs are 3-0 against the Lady Jaguars this season.

Houston junior combo guard Jayla Hemingway combined for 58 total points in the Lady Mustangs’ first two games in the regional tournament on Saturday and Monday. Houston was scheduled to play Southwind in the championship game Wednesday night. The Lady Mustangs are 3-0 against the Lady Jaguars this season. Photo by Kevin Lewter 

Hemingway, who had 24 points in a 73-52 win over White Station in the tournament quarterfinals on Saturday, had a game high 18 rebounds and shot an efficient 63 percent from the field Monday night. She was also 12-of-14 from the free-throw line.

Fellow junior Destinee Wells chipped in 11 points and Madison Griggs added 9 points, all of which came from behind the three-point line.

Houston was scheduled to play Southwind Wednesday night in the championship game. The Lady Mustangs have dominated the Lady Jaguars (21-10) this season, last beating them 75-60 on Feb. 20 in the Dist. 15-AAA championship game. Houston also won both regular season games against Southwind, which beat Ridgeway 83-76 on Monday night to advance to the regional championship game.

Houston is currently ranked No. 5 in the state with a 24-5 record.

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