Lady Bulldogs handed first non-division loss

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 29, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Janie Mitchell and Juanita Ward combined for 37 points, 24 rebounds and seven blocked shots to lead the 10th-ranked Callaway to a 63-46 win over the Natchez Tuesday night.

Mitchell finished with game-highs of 21 points, 13 in the first half, and 13 rebounds to go with two blocks and went 3-of-4 from the free-throw line. Ward had 16 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks and was 4-of-6 from the line.

&uot;They are both good scorers for us,&uot; Lady Chargers head coach Maxine Johnson said. &uot;We have three or four players who can score.&uot;

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Both teams got off to a slow start offensively with Callaway (16-2) missing its first five shots and Natchez (19-3) going just 3-of-14 from the field in the first quarter as the Lady Chargers jumped out to a 16-8 lead at the end of the quarter.

&uot;One thing we didn’t do was execute our game plan,&uot; Lady Bulldogs assistant coach Sue Johnson said. &uot;We didn’t get down the court. We didn’t rebound. We didn’t get it inside.&uot;

Give credit to Callaway for going to a 2-3 zone defense the entire game, which kept the ball out of the hands of the Lady Bulldogs’ leading scorer, Crystal L. Brown, and kept pressure on their guards, especially on the corners.

Brown finished with 15 points, mostly on putbacks, and eight rebounds to lead the Lady Bulldogs. Quantrita Marsaw had 13 points, including four 3-pointers, two of which were after the game was out of reach.

&uot;We ran it tight to keep it from going inside to their big girl (Brown),&uot; Maxine Johnson said. &uot;We’re kind of big. We knew their outside shooters wouldn’t be too much of a threat.&uot;

Natchez cut the lead to 25-19 at halftime, but Callaway put the game out of reach with a dominating third quarter in which it outscored Natchez 25-13 to take a 50-32 lead going into the fourth.

Callaway boys 60, Natchez 49

After being held scoreless in the first quarter and to just four points by halftime, Kiki Christmas came alive for Callaway (11-9) and finished with 21 points as the Chargers held off a late Natchez High rally to defeat the Bulldogs.

&uot;At halftime I told them to pick it up on offense,&uot; Chargers head coach Robert Stewart said. &uot;Kiki is averaging 22 points a game. I told him to drive it to the basket and the shots would fall.&uot;

Natchez (8-14) led 13-8 early in the second quarter before Callaway went on a 15-8 run in the last 6:15 of that quarter to take a 23-21 halftime lead and then outscored the Bulldogs 22-10 in the third quarter to take a 47-31 lead into the fourth.