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Natchez High boys squeak by Ferriday

Natchez High School’s Derrian Johnson and Ferriday defenders all reach for the rebound during Friday’s game at Vidalia during the Miss-Lou Shootout. Johnson’s 15 points helped the Bulldogs walk away with a 47-41 win over the Trojans. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — Derrian Johnson’s 15 points helped push Natchez High School to a win over Ferriday High School Friday night in a game that left both coaching staffs a bit disappointed.

Turnovers and missed free throws marred the second half of the contest that saw Natchez squeak by with a 47-41 victory at Vidalia High School in the Miss-Lou Shootout.

“We played horrible,” Natchez assistant coach David Haywood said. “We are not playing smart basketball.”

Natchez had already defeated Ferriday earlier in the season, and Haywood said his players did not give the Trojans enough respect.

“We took this team for granted, because we beat them the first time, and we didn’t come out focused,” he said. “I give (Ferriday) a lot of credit. They came out ready to play.”

Ferriday had its chances to avenge the early-season loss, but missed opportunities itself, head coach K.G. Watkins said.

“I thought we had the opportunity to win it on the free throw line, and it looks like we would have been right at (being tied if we had made them),” Watkins said.

“We are still learning how to finish.”

Natchez High School’s Jadarrius Williams goes up for a shot against Ferriday High School’s Brandon Scott during Friday’s game at Vidalia High School during the Miss-Lou Shootout. Natchez defeated Ferriday 47-41. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

Ferriday led by two after the first quarter, but a big second quarter by the Bulldogs ended up being the difference.

Natchez outscored Ferriday 15-8 in the second frame to take a 27-22 lead into the half.

Johnson dominated the third quarter by scoring nine of the Bulldogs’ 11 points in the period, and Natchez went into the fourth quarter leading 38-32.

In the final period Natchez decided to spread the floor and eat some clock, which ended up leading to some turnovers but also managed to take some time off the clock. The Trojans made a run, but fell short at the end.

Quavion Ellis led Ferriday with 13 points, and Will Scott chipped in with 11.

Eleven players scored for Natchez.

The win improved Natchez to 4-5, but Haywood said there is still much to improve.

“It’s not all about winning and losing,” he said. “It’s about how you do it.”

Ferriday dropped to 3-6 on the season, but Watkins said he can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s coming,” he said. “We’re not there yet, but we will get there.”

Natchez will face Vidalia today, while Ferriday will face Jefferson County in Day 2 of the Miss-Lou Shootout.

Natchez High 61, Ferriday 43

VIDALIA — Nearly every member of Natchez High’s varsity girls basketball team ended up in the scoring column as the Lady Bulldogs defeated the Ferriday Lady Trojans Friday afternoon at the Miss-Lou Classic.

Taylor Argue led Natchez High with 11 points while Zyaire Ewing and Tajchanea Thornburg had eight points each. The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-6 lead over Ferriday and never looked back. The Lady Trojans were led by Jada Griggs with 25 points.

Natchez High (8-1) will take on Vidalia today at 7:30 p.m. Ferriday (1-9) goes up against Jefferson County today at 4 p.m. as the Miss-Lou Shootout continues.