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NHS girls, boys win vs. Jefferson Co.

Jefferson County’s ReKeijah Williams, from left, Racheal Shelvy and Ashley Brinkley try to block Natchez High School forward Zyaire Ewing's shot in the first half of their game Friday. (Brittney Lohmiller \ The Natchez Democrat)
Jefferson County’s ReKeijah Williams, from left, Racheal Shelvy and Ashley Brinkley try to block Natchez High School forward Zyaire Ewing’s shot in the first half of their game Friday. (Brittney Lohmiller \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Natchez High head coach Alphaka Moore had to like what she saw from her very young Lady Bulldogs team as they defeated the Jefferson County Lady Tigers 55-32 Friday night in NHS’s season opener.

Even though no one for Natchez High reached double digits in scoring, 10 players for the Lady Bulldogs found their way into the scoring column. Zyaire Ewing led the way with nine points while Ernesha Chatman followed with eight points and Skylar Morgan added seven points.

Natchez High School’s Zyaire Ewing jumps to grab the rebound in the first half of its game against Jefferson County High School Friday evening in Natchez. NHS defeated Jefferson County, 55-32.
Natchez High School’s Zyaire Ewing jumps to grab the rebound in the first half of its game against Jefferson County High School Friday evening in Natchez. NHS defeated Jefferson County, 55-32.

“We have two seniors and we had one junior that played tonight,” Moore said. “We have five ninth-graders and four or five 10th-graders. Most of our minutes came from a senior, three sophomores and a junior.”

Defense was what Moore said was the key to the Lady Bulldogs’ victory over a Jefferson County team that had already had four games under their belts. Natchez High jumped out to a 12-4 lead after one quarter of play and 26-13 at halftime.

“We had a lot of steals that led to some easy lay-ups,” Moore said. “But it was defense, mainly defense.”

The only quarter in which the Lady Tigers managed to get into double digits was the third quarter, when they scored 13 points. Yet they still trailed the Lady Bulldogs 41-26 heading into the fourth quarter. Diamond Smith led Jefferson County with a game-high 10 points and Dionna Jackson had nine points.

Jefferson County (2-3) will next play at the Prentiss Tournament on Nov. 21 and 23. Natchez High (1-0) next plays at 6 p.m. next Tuesday at Wilkinson County.

Natchez High boys 70, Jefferson County 31

NATCHEZ — Dearius Griffin scored 17 points and Keylan Wimberly had 14 points as the Natchez High Bulldogs had their way with the Jefferson County Tigers in a 70-31 season-opening win Friday night.

Gary Woods added 13 points for the Bulldogs, who used a 22-9 advantage in the second quarter to take command of the game as well as a 42-19 lead over the Tigers into halftime.

And it only got worse for Jefferson County in the second half as Natchez High’s defense either forced turnovers or contested shots. The Tigers managed to score just six points in each of the final two quarters while the Bulldogs had 12 and 16 points, respectively.

Ry’yale Brown led the Tigers with 14 points, but he didn’t get much help from his teammates.

Jefferson County (1-2) next plays at the Prentiss Tournament Nov. 21 and 23. Natchez High (1-0) plays at Wilkinson County next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.