Natchez High hits court early

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 4, 1999

It wasn’t Midnight Madness, but it didn’t miss by much. Natchez High’s basketball team took the court Monday as practice officially opened for high school teams across the state.

The Bulldogs were in the gym at 7 a.m. Monday, and the intensity level was high.

&uot;It feels good to be back and we’re ready,&uot; said Natchez senior David Haywood, who led the Bulldogs with 16.6 points a game last year and averaging 16 rebounds a contest.

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Natchez finished 19-12 last year.

&uot;I think we’ve got a good chance to do much better this year,&uot; Haywood said. &uot;We’re playing as one team and there are no egos.&uot;

The Bulldogs posted an 11-3 record at camps this summer.

&uot;Those camps brought us a lot closer together,&uot;&160;Haywood said. &uot;We are all much more confident. We’re going to play tougher defense, have less turnovers and be more active.&uot;

Senior Travis Nealy said the Bulldogs should be stronger this year.

&uot;This team has been together since the ninth grade, so we all know each other,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ve also got some younger players with talent. It’s just going to take some game experience for them.&uot;

Senior Jovon Edwards said he is trying to show more leadership.

&uot;We have an opportunity to do well this year if we all work hard,&uot; he said. &uot;Everybody needs to push everybody.&uot;

Senior Edwin Harris will be taking the role of point guard, replacing James West, who is now at Alcorn.

&uot;I’ll be playing more minutes and making more decisions,&uot; Harris said. &uot;Everybody has to stick to their roles and we’ll have a good team.&uot;

Natchez junior Jamal Bouldin said he has set no goals.

&uot;I just want to win,&uot;&160;said Bouldin, who averaged 11 points a game and had 78 3-pointers. &uot;I&160;feel like we’re going to be more active and a closer team. We all know each other and have worked well together.&uot;

Natchez High tips off its season Nov. 1 at the Coca-Cola Classic in Vicksburg.

Following a game Nov. 8 at Brookhaven, the Bulldogs open their home slate Nov. 16 against Jackson Provine