Natchez girls bounce back for win after loss in 12 hours

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 28, 2002

HATTIESBURG &045; It’s tough for a team, no matter how good it is, to get up for an 8 a.m. game &045; especially after playing an 8 p.m. game just one day earlier.

But that’s what the schedule was for the 2002 Hattiesburg Holiday Classic, and that’s what the Natchez High Lady Bulldogs had to go through to finish undefeated in the round-robin tournament.

Less than 12 hours after taking a hard-fought 61-56 win over Laurel, the Lady Bulldogs didn’t let the early game affect them as they routed the Hazlehurst Lady Indians 65-40 Saturday morning.

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&uot;We started out slow,&uot; Lady Bulldogs assistant coach Sue Johnson said. &uot;It was an 8 o’clock game. Once we woke up we got going.&uot;

Natchez’s offense may have started off a little sluggishly, but the defense did its job, especially through the first three quarters.

The Lady Bulldogs (12-1) held Hazlehurst to just four points in the first quarter in taking a 12-4 lead. They increased their lead to 27-13 at halftime.

&uot;I feel like our defense had a few letdowns, but we’ll work on that,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;Overall, we’re really proud of them.&uot;

Natchez ended up with 11 players in the scoring column, led by Crystal L. Brown, Karmethia Mazique and Sharika Hargrave with 10 points each.

&uot;The points were spread around, so no one had a hot hand,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;Fortunately we have a bench we can go to to bail us out. That’s one advantage we have this year.&uot;

Hazlehurst narrowly scored in double digits in the third quarter with 10 points, but Natchez’s lead got even bigger as the Lady Bulldogs took a 44-23 lead into the fourth quarter.

Block girls 68, Harrisonburg 47

JENA, La. &045; The Lady Bears (7-4) allowed Harrisonburg to hang around in the first half, but a strong defensive stand in the third quarter helped them pull away from the Lady Bulldogs in the consolation game of the Jena Tournament Saturday afternoon.

The duo of Dani McMillan and Catessa Branch also proved to be too much for Harrisonburg as they combined for 49 of the Lady Bears’ 68 points with McMillin finishing with a game-high 27 points. Branch had 22 points.

&uot;The Lady Bears came out on defense pretty well, but we couldn’t get going early offensively,&uot; Block head coach Veronica Savage said.

Give Harrisonburg a lot of credit for staying with Block in the first half.

Dianna Roark scored 14 of her team-high 25 points as the Lady Bulldogs trailed by just one point, 30-29, at halftime.

&uot;We were just kind of laid back in the first half. Why? I don’t know,&uot; Savage said. &uot;Harrisonburg was prepared for us. Jasmine (Dunbar) and Dianna played well.&uot;

The Lady Bears finally took control of the game with a 15-5 run in the third quarter to take a 45-34 lead. They then outscored the Lady Bulldogs 23-13 in the fourth quarter to put the game on ice.

&uot;The second half we picked up from their mistakes and ran with it,&uot; Savage said. &uot;We boxed (Roark) out well in the second half. Catessa posted well and rebounded well.&uot;

These same two teams will meet in the Sicily Island Tournament at 5:15 p.m. Thursday.

Trinity Episcopal boys 62, Parklane 38

McCOMB &045; Dudley Guice Jr. scored 23 points and Chase Brown had 19 points as the Saints improved to 9-2 on the season with a big win over the Pioneers Saturday night in the Parklane Tournament.

&uot;It was a big win against a 3A school,&uot; Trinity head coach David King said. &uot;Coach Foy coached in the college ranks for 25 years at McNeese State and Southeastern Louisiana. They’re (Parklane) a very-well coached team.&uot;

Trinity held a narrow 13-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Saints then turned to their defense over the next two quarters to put Parklane away for good.

The Saints outscored the Pioneers 18-9 in the second quarter and 10-4 in the third quarter to take a commanding 41-23 lead.

&uot;Defensively we had one of our better game,&uot; King said. &uot;Anytime you hold a team to 38

Trinity’s biggest offensive output of the game was the fourth quarter with 21 points. Parklane managed to score 15 points in that quarter, but the Pioneers were unable to have any answers for the Saints.

Trinity will next play Delta Academy in the championship game at 6:45 p.m. Monday.

McComb boys 90, Wilkinson County 50

McCOMB &045; The Tigers jumped out to a big lead early in game and never looked back as they crushed the Wildcats (14-4) in the McComb Tournament Saturday night.

Cudeyon Thornton led McComb with 21 points and Jackie Butler and John Thompson had 16 points each.

&uot;I think we gave Jackie Butler too much respect,&uot; Wilkinson County head coach Henry Story said. &uot;We didn’t rebound. We didn’t bring our ‘A’ game, and tonight ‘A’ stood for any.&uot;

McComb jumped out to a 22-8 lead after one quarter of play and then took a 42-21 halftim lead.

&uot;They had a snowbird game tonight,&uot; Story said. &uot;We penetrated, they rebounded and ran down the court. We didn’t shoot well.&uot;

Wilkinson County outscored McComb 17-15 in the third quarter, only to see the Tigers go on a 33-12 run to close out the game.

Bryant Spiller led Wilkinson County with 21 points.

Natchez High boys 58, St. Frederick (La.) 40

LAFAYETTE, La. &045; Brian Williams scored 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting, including 5-for-8 from 3-point range, as the Bulldogs cruised in their win over the Warriors from Monroe, La. in the Sunkist Shootout.

Natchez High will play Barbe in the fifth-place game at 4 p.m. today.

&uot;We just went out there and played defense,&uot; Williams, one of only two players to score in double figures in the game, said. &uot;We were shooting. I went out and gave it my best.&uot;

Derrick Martin had a solid game with five points, nine assists and four steals. Leon Stewart had six assists to go with four points.

Natchez High (8-9) took a 17-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 27-16 lead at halftime.

&uot;I think everybody stepped up,&uot; Williams said. &uot;The bench came in and stepped up when we had some players in foul trouble.&uot;

George Belton led St. Frederick with 22 points.