Columbus hammers NHS; Wilkinson upended on road

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 18, 2003

COLUMBUS &045; Columbus High is everything its cracked up to be.

Natchez High found that out right from the start Monday before dropping a 65-28 decision to the Lady Falcons Monday night in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs.

Columbus (25-0) rolls on to face the winner of tonight’s Horn Lake-Murrah winner. Natchez finishes the season 23-5.

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&uot;They’re an extraordinary team &045; I can assure you,&uot; Natchez High head coach Mary Irving said. &uot;They’re well-prepared. They were well-prepared for us. Their execution was intact. I would say with their ability, their aggressiveness and the way they get down and play ball, they’re at the top of teams I’ve seen in 5A.&uot;

The Lady Falcons &045; who start two Southern Miss signees &045; jumped out to a 12-2 lead before taking a 20-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.

The lead got to 37-7 in the second quarter before Natchez finished the half on a 6-1 run for a 38-13 halftime deficit.

&uot;We jumped out on them real strong,&uot; Columbus coach Amanda Brabham said. &uot;We wanted to slow them down and make them play a half-court game. We wanted to put pressure on their point guard. We gave good helpside and backside defense.

Columbus outscored Natchez 16-6 in the third quarter and posted its biggest lead of the game at 64-24 with 2:53 left in the fourth quarter.

Quantrita Marsaw led the Lady Bulldogs with five points, while post Crystal L. Brown had four. Michelle Poindexter, a 6-2 post who signed with USM, had 18 to lead the Lady Falcons.

West Lauderdale 80, Wilkinson County 43

COLLINSVILLE &045; The way the Knights played in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs Monday, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t go deep.

You won’t get an argument out of Wilkinson County.

The Lady Wildcats struggled from the get-go in dropping the playoff game to the champions out of Division 5.

&uot;We couldn’t match up with them,&uot; Wilkinson County head coach Edwin White said. &uot;They’re well-coached and well-disciplined. We’ll take it as a learning experience. We’ll come back, and maybe see them again next year. They should finish strong in the tournament. They’ve got a good team.&uot;

The Lady Wildcats (12-21) had troubles from the start as they fell behind 23-5 by the end of the first quarter. They regrouped a bit and scored 20 points in the second quarter, but the Knights put up 21 to take a 44-25 halftime lead.

The Knights came back with the pressure in the third quarter by outscoring Wilkinson County 22-5 in the third quarter to lead 66-30 heading into the fourth quarter.

&uot;We had a bad night of scoring &045; very, very bad night,&uot; White said. &uot;They’re a run-and-gun-type of team, and we couldn’t match up with them. They moved the ball around pretty well and took good shots. They just played well together.&uot;

Latasha Williams led Wilkinson County with 26. West Lauderdale’s top scorer was D. Monroe with 13.

Henry Matuszak of The Columbus Commercial Dispatch contributed to this report.