Natchez High School’s Dominique Mazique dribbles around Vicksburg High School’s DeVonta Brisco during their game Tuesday. (Brittney Lohmiller \ The Natchez Democrat)
Natchez High School’s Dominique Mazique dribbles around Vicksburg High School’s DeVonta Brisco during their game Tuesday. (Brittney Lohmiller \ The Natchez Democrat)

NHS boys take big loss, girls win

Published 12:05am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NATCHEZ — Natchez High School assistant head coach David Haywood said the Bulldogs weren’t mentally prepared for their game against Vicksburg High School, and it showed.

The Bulldogs were downed on their home court, 57-29, in a non-divisional matchup that Haywood said he hopes was a wake-up call after dropping three straight losses.

“I don’t think we were into it mentally,” Haywood said. “Right there, that’s enough to get you beat by anybody on our schedule, and Vicksburg played a really good game.”

De’Arius Griffin of Natchez High School dribbles around Vicksburg High School’s Kris Walker in the first half of their game Tuesday. Vicksburg defeated NHS, 57-29. (Brittney Lohmiller \ The Natchez Democrat)
De’Arius Griffin of Natchez High School dribbles around Vicksburg High School’s Kris Walker in the first half of their game Tuesday. Vicksburg defeated NHS, 57-29. (Brittney Lohmiller \ The Natchez Democrat)

De’Arius Griffin scored a team high of nine points, and Ty’Ran Newman and Dominique Mazique both tallied six points in the loss. DeVonta Brisco put up 23 points for the Gators, as D’Angelo Richardson added 12 points.

It didn’t look good for Natchez from the start as Vicksburg took an early 9-0 lead before the Bulldogs scored their first points on free throws by Griffin.

Those free throws were the only Bulldog points of the first quarter as they found themselves down 12-2 after one.

The Bulldogs finally got their first field goal after falling behind 16-2 on a steal and lay up by Brisco at the 6:30 mark in the second quarter.

Natchez’s first sign of life came from a Griffin-to-Mazique fast break play at the 6:30 mark.

The Bulldogs’ next basket came from the same connection a minute later 20-6 before heading into the locker room down 25-12.

The third quarter was the Bulldogs’ highest scoring quarter with 11 points, but it was no match for Vicksburg’s 17-point effort powered by Brisco, who went on a hot streak with three 3-pointers.

Vicksburg went up by 20 points at the 4:52 mark on Brisco’s second 3-pointer of the quarter 35-15.

Ty’Ran Newman came back with a wing 3-pointer of his own to bring the Bulldogs within five points, 36-21, but the Gators went on a 6-2 run to end the quarter at 42-23.

It seemed like the Bulldogs were out of gas in the final quarter as they scored just six points.

Vicksburg head coach Dellie Robertson said his players had struggled with keeping the lead in the past, and he was proud of his team’s effort Tuesday.

“We have been playing really well lately,” Robertson said. “I thought we were patient. It paid off tonight when we got that lead; we were able to hold it. They had discipline. If you’re not disciplined, then you’re not going to win a lot of ball games.”

Haywood said the Bulldogs must take the loss and re-evaluate their goals for the rest of the season.

“We have to take a step in the right direction mentally,” Haywood said. “If you put your best foot forward and you lose, you can sleep well, but when you don’t, it’s hard to swallow. I just told them this loss doesn’t deter from our overall goal, and that’s getting to the playoffs.”

Natchez High plays Pearl River Central High School at 7:30 p.m. Friday while Vickburg plays Lanier High School Friday.

Natchez High girls 62,

Vicksburg girls 34

The Natchez High girls were in control the entire night as they cruised past the Lady Gators, 62-34, at home Tuesday night.

The Lady Bulldogs had three players in double figures, with Zyaire Ewing leading the way with 18 points. Kiana Jones was right behind her with 17 points, and Rashonae Rice added 12 points to the performance.

Lexus Vaughn had 10 points for Vicksburg.

The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to an early 21-10 lead against Vicksburg with Ewing scoring half of her 18 points in the first quarter.

But Natchez buckled down on its defense after that, only allowing three points to be scored in the second quarter and eight in the third quarter to go up 44-21. The Lady Bulldogs finished with an 18-point fourth-quarter performance.

Natchez head coach Alphaka Moore said she was pleased with her team’s performance, and she hopes to see more consistency in the future.

“I think they played well,” Moore said. “Everyone did their role. We looked like the team that we should be. This wasn’t an easy team. They really had to play and learn from their mistakes.”

Vicksburg head coach Barbara Hartzog said she hoped her players would put up more of a fight against Natchez.

“I think we could have given them a better game,” Hartzog said. “We are always competitive with them, but we just weren’t (Tuesday). Natchez didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves. We threw the ball away a lot and made a lot of mistakes.”