By JOEL COLEMAN
MABEN – In a sense, the West Oktibbeha girls basketball team literally fell victim to playoff pressure Monday night.
Coffeeville's full-court press frustrated the Lady Timberwolves from the opening tip until the closing buzzer as the Lady Pirates came to Maben and upended West Oktibbeha 77-54 in the first round of the Class A North playoffs.
"That press ate us up," said West Oktibbeha's Shamia Robinson. "We wasn't prepared for that. We didn't practice for that."
Robinson, a Mississippi State signee, led the Lady Timberwolves with 21 points in the final game of her West Oktibbeha career.
Still, it was far from enough to quell the Lady Pirates who, besides their in-your-face defense, put three players in double figures, led by Jammeeka Horton's 30-point performance.
Tayanna Parnell scored 20 points for Coffeeville while Chassyali Turner added 10.
Jaslynn Bedford, with 16 points, was the only other West Oktibbeha player to reach double-digits on a night where the Lady Timberwolves were hampered by a bevy of turnovers.
"Our girls just wouldn't be patient," said West Oktibbeha coach Kevin Bailey. "They kept trying to throw it down on the first pass. I told them to be patient or give a pump fake or something, because we had opportunities to break the press. We just didn't because we were too anxious."
At no point did Coffeeville (20-8) show mercy. The Lady Pirates began the contest on a 10-0 run, led 18-6 after the first quarter and were up 44-22 at the half.
By the closing moments of the third quarter, Coffeeville stretched the lead to its widest margin at 58-28.
Despite being up by 30 points, the Lady Pirates kept on pressing.
"We've done it all year long," said Coffeeville head coach Bernadette Sayles. "We just try to put a lot of pressure on teams when we come out. We try to set the tone for the game and make sure that we frustrate other teams with it. "
Sayles and her team more than accomplished that mission Monday.
In doing so, the Lady Pirates concluded the Lady Timberwolves' season.
Coffeeville advanced to play either H.W. Byers or Falkner in a second round game on Thursday.
West Oktibbeha's season ended with an 18-11 overall record.
"I could cry right now," said Robinson after the game, not long after capping the contest's scoring with a three-pointer just before time expired.
Robinson wasn't the only one upset postgame.
Bailey couldn't shake the feeling that his team had the talent to go much further.
"Definitely wish we could've kept going," said Bailey. "I anticipated their press was going to be tough. I didn't think we'd have that much trouble with it."