CHOCTAW — Jordan Gorham scored 33 points and grabbed 19 rebounds Thursday night to rally No. 7 Perkins-Tryon past No. 16 Mount St. Mary 55-50 in the Class 4A girls state quarterfinals.
The Rockets led for the majority of the game until the teams began exchanging leads to start the fourth quarter. Gorham’s basket bear the 5-minute mark put the Demons ahead for good.
“When she comes out to play she is hard to handle,” Perkins coach Jerry Burnett said about his 6-foot junior. “Usually we get some 3s sprinkled in, which helps her out, but we didn’t get those until the second half. That’s when I think we were able to take the lead.”
Last season Perkins-Tryon made the Class 3A semifinals, which Burnett said helped the Demons on Thursday.
‘We’ve battled back before, we’ve been down 15 points and came back to win,” he said. “But these girls are fighters, and they stayed with the gameplan and I was happy for them.”
Mount St. Mary, making its first-ever state tournament appearance, jumped to a 19-13 lead in the second quarter behind Bryana Wade before she suffered an ankle injury and briefly left the game.
When she returned, she was far from the same player. She finished with 13 points, all in the first half. She only took three shots in the second half.
“They’ve got great outside shooters,” Burnett said. “We didn’t think their post could shoot the 3 as well as they did. We had to come out more on them. We don’t like to do that, but we did that, we were able to contain, keep people in front of us and they started missing late.“ The Rockets’ season ends with a 23-6 record.