Basketball notebook: Cathedral, Natchez focus on postseason runPublished 12:03am Monday, February 17, 2014
NATCHEZ — It wasn’t Cathedral High School’s best outing Friday night when the Greenwave lost to St. Aloysius 65-62 on Senior Night.
More important than their last home game of the season, the matchup was the difference between going into the district tournament in second place or fourth place.
The Green Wave committed several turnovers and missed 18 free throws in a game decided by three points, and head coach Peter Arnold said he never thought his team would play so poorly.
“I’m very sad and disappointed,” he said. “We should’ve played better.”
James Coley fouled out with 24 points on a flagrant foul with 19 seconds left in the game.
This was a time that Cathedral needed Coley the most, after they rallied from down as much as 15 points to be down 58-57 with 1:45 remaining.
Though Cathedral couldn’t pull out the win and now has to settle for fourth place, the players must take their minds off the loss and get ready for Pelahatchie High School in the first round of the district tournament tonight.
“We just have to prepared for Pelahatchie,” Arnold said. “Pelahatchie lost to us by two in overtime, then the next time we grinded out the win by eight or nine points. They say it’s hard to beat a team the third time so we’ll see if we have the fight.
“This is literally all on the line.”
Natchez High 91, Lawrence County 40
The Bulldogs put on a show Feb. 11 when they ripped through Lawrence County High School with no mercy.
That game was not only senior night, but a test drive for the district tournament, which begins Tuesday. Against the Cougars, assistant coach David Haywood gave a few new defensive plays a spin that seemed to work well.
Natchez went on an early run as the Cougars struggled with the Bulldogs’ 1-1-3 zone defense. Several turnovers resulted from it, and the Bulldogs were up 30-15 at halftime before doubling that lead just minutes into the third quarter.
Aside from defense, explosive shooting from De’Arius Griffin and Joel Bacon blew the lead out of the water.
Griffin scored 18 points in the third quarter, including four three-pointers to go ahead 58-28.
Though the starters scored enough to get the win, Bacon came off the bench wanting a taste of the net, as well. Bacon put up five three-pointers in the final quarter to take the 91-40 victory.
Natchez will play Wingfield High School in the first round of the district tournament at Wingfield.