Bulldogs lose to Biloxi, still have hope

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 26, 2000

Biloxi High’s Ryan Kennedy sank a basket with 1.6 seconds left to give the Indians a 71-69 win over Natchez High in the semifinals of the South State 5A Tournament at Harrison Central High in Gulfport.

Natchez will face Harrison Central in the consolation game today at 5:30 p.m.

The winner advances to the state tournament next week, while the loser heads home for the year.

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&uot;Our ticket is still available,&uot; said Natchez High head coach Mike Martin. &uot;This is our last chance to get in the ‘Big House.’&uot;

Harrison Central was upset by Meridian 69-68.

Natchez trailed Biloxi 21-14 after one period of play. The Bulldogs outscored the Indians 21-13 in the second period to take a 35-34 halftime lead.

The Bulldogs extended their lead to seven points in the third quarter and led 66-60 going into the final period.

Biloxi scored two quick baskets to cut the lead and then went up by three points late in the contest.

Natchez’s Jamal Bouldin hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 20 seconds remaining to tie the game before Biloxi pulled it out in the end.

&uot;Our guys played extremely, extremely hard,&uot; Martin said. &uot;They were ready to play and had a good attitude. We made some mistakes at the wrong time. We just need to play a little smarter.&uot;

Bouldin led Natchez with 21 points, while David Haywood added 19 and Jovon Edwards 18.

Chey Christie led the Indians with 22 points, scoring 16 in the first half. Jason Wells added 12 and Tim Joner 10.

Meridian overcame a 20-point Harrison Central lead to advance to the finals.

Harrison Central led by three points with 11 seconds remaining and had the ball, but threw it away on an in-bounds play.

A Meridian player hit a 23-foot shot and was fouled with five seconds left. He hit the free throw to give the Wildcats the win.