Prep notebook: Rebels’ shocker tosses 2-AAA race on its ear

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 27, 2003

Has there been any bigger win so far this season in the Miss-Lou?

Was there anybody that needed a big win more than the ACCS Rebels?

No, and no. The Rebels’ 52-50 win over powerhouse Jackson Prep Saturday night at the ACCS gym sent shock waves through everyone in the District 2-AAA standings as well as anybody who follows high school basketball closely.

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It was the first win by AC over Prep in 20 years and a win the Rebels needed to stay in the hunt for a high seed in the district tournament.

&uot;You get to practice each day and keep telling them the big game is going to come and going to come,&uot; ACCS head coach Ricky Gray said. &uot;I think it got them over the hump. I hope it’ll carry us into the tournament. In this league you’ve got to be consistent.&uot;

The win was definitely one to get over the hump after playing Hillcrest, Central Private and Parklane tough before falling in the final minutes. So consistency from here on out could help &045; the Rebels go to Central Private before hosting Parklane to finish the district portion of their schedule.

The loss was the first in district for the Patriots, who are now tied with Hillcrest for the top spot in the standings.

&uot;We’ve really thrown a wrinkle in the plans,&uot; Gray said. &uot;Prep now has a district loss, and the No. 3, 4 and 5 spots are basically tied right now. We’re basically battling for a higher seed to play an easier first round game. It’s still wide open.&uot;

The biggest plus the Rebels have in their favor is they’re getting back healthy. Guard Brent Dossett missed Thursday’s loss to Hillcrest with the flu but returned Saturday for Prep.

&uot;We’ve got to stay healthy,&uot; Gray said. &uot;I’m hoping we got it (flu) out of our system. I hope the weekend alone gave us a chance to get away from each other.&uot;

A NEW LOOK &045; The pressure is on Ferriday’s Lady Trojans to keep things fresh &045; they’re coming up with different defensive sets to keep their opponents on their toes.

Friday against Crowville was another example. After using the quickness of LaShawnda Pryor at the top of the defense, they instead went with post Latasha Cain &045; who stands five inches taller than Pryor &045; at the top of the press and their 1-3-1 half-court zone.

Cain’s size gave Crowville’s guards problems in both sets, and it helped the Lady Trojans break away from a 19-19 halftime score for the win.

&uot;We tried that against Rayville, and it worked for us,&uot; Ferriday head coach Lisa Abron said. &uot;I had forgotten about it, and she reminded me. I said, ‘Let’s try it,’ and it worked. They’ve got those little-bitty ball handlers. She runs the floor well. She runs laterally from one side (of the court) to the other real well.

&uot;That was the difference in the game. When you do the same thing, people catch on. It worked out for us toward the end.&uot;

SO LONG, OLD FRIEND &045; While everyone was looking forward to the start of District 3-2A play ealier this month, McCall didn’t share in all of the excitement.

It meant the start of a very long road trip. Both the Dragons and Lady Dragons will play all of their district games on the road this season following a mandate handed down by the LHSAA after an incident in the playoffs last season when a fan reached out and swatted away a ball when it was live.

&uot;They (LHSAA) tried to do all kids of things to us,&uot; McCall head coach Mitch Riggs said after his Dragons lost at Vidalia Tuesday. &uot;They’re making me pay $4,000 to play every game on the road. I thought this was my game. Everybody likes the confines of your home. My old coach used to say that takes 10 points away from you.&uot;

NO LONGER A PUP &045; Natchez’s Jasmine Woods was a little nervous about her first interview after the Lady Bulldogs 61-48 victory last Friday night over Vicksburg.

She didn’t want to sound selfish or unseasoned. Her performance in a backup role for Crystal L. Brown, who sat early on against the Missy Gators because of foul trouble, looked far from a novice on the court as she scored 10 points and filled Brown’s size-10 shoes nicely.

&uot;I like to go out there and do my part to help the team in whatever capacity, especially around district time,&uot; Woods said. &uot;I knew I needed to do my part and step up when Crystal was out.&uot;

Woods gives the Lady Bulldogs a nice compliment off the bench when Brown needs a break &045; a facet of the ever-growing Natchez (19-2, 3-2 division 4-5A) bench.

Brown, who finished with a game-high 17 points due to a monster third period, sat all of the second period after picking up her third personal foul late in the opening period.

Chuck Corder contributed to this report.