JPS Classic: Guice rings up 20 in debut with Tigers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003

JACKSON &045; After having to wait a week after transferring from Trinity Episcopal to Jefferson County, Dudley Guice&160;Jr. made his debut with the Tigers a memorable one.

Guice scored 20 points and hit some clutch free throws down the stretch to give Jefferson County a 63-59 win over Forest Hill in the first round of the Jackson Public Schools/Pepsi Holiday Classic.

&uot;They wanted to win,&uot; Tigers head coach Marcus Walton said. &uot;They were playing hard. Dudley played aggressive and hard. This is the Jackson Public Schools Tournament,&uot; Walton said. &uot;Any time you can knock off a Jackson school, it’s big. Especially on their home court.&uot;

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Chris Carradine had 13 points and Joshfer Nichols added 10 points for the Tigers, who will play No. 1 Provine at 6:30 p.m. today at Forest Hill.

Jefferson County got off to a slow start offensively but got going in the second quarter, scoring 19 points, yet still trailed the Rebels 30-25 at halftime.

&uot;After losing to Wilkinson County (last Friday night), the kids came out anxious to play,&uot; Walton said. &uot;We came out a little shaky.&uot;

Forest Hill increased its lead to eight points, 49-41, going into the fourth quarter despite making just six field goals in the third quarter.

Jefferson County trailed by as many as seven with 2:20 left and still trailed by one until Guice stepped up to the line and hit five free throws in the final minute.

The Tigers defense, which started playing better in the third quarter, got even better in the fourth quarter, allowing the Rebels to make just one field goal.

Jefferson County outscored Forest Hill 22-10 in the final quarter to rally for the win against the team that beat the Tigers by 13 at the Vicksburg Tournament in November.

&uot;As long as they stay disciplined and patient on offense and aggressive on defense, we can turn this season around,&uot; Walton said. &uot;It was a big win for us. If we can beat Provine, it will be my biggest win ever. We’re representing the city of Fayette, Jefferson County and the entire Miss-Lou.&uot;

Forest Hill 62, JC girls 55

JACKSON &045; The night wasn’t quite as memorable for the Lady Tigers as they went one-and-done with the loss Friday afternoon.

Despite having four players score in double figures, including a game-high 22 points from Ayesha Fountain, the Lady Tigers (1-14) couldn’t rally from a double-digit deficit against the Lady Rebels.

Forest Hill took control of the game in the first quarter on offense and defense to take a 21-9 lead. That lead grew to 17 points, 37-20, at halftime.

The Lady Rebels then outscored the Lady Tigers 14-7 in the third quarter to take a 24-point lead.

Wilkinson County 62, Jim Hill 43

JACKSON &045; Led by Kim Griffin’s 27 points and a tenacious defense, the Lady Wildcats also advanced to the semifinals with a convincing win over the Lady Tigers.

&uot;Basically it was an up-tempo game,&uot; Lady Wildcats head coach Edwin White said. &uot;They (Jim Hill) have a young team. We played very good defense.&uot;

The Lady Wildcats will face No. 4 Murrah at 2 p.m. today at Forest Hill.

Wilkinson County (9-4) held Jim Hill to just three points in the first quarter, but by halftime the Lady Wildcats were leading by just six points, 27-21.

But the Lady Wildcats, thanks in large part to Griffin and Latasha Williams, put the game out of reach with an 18-7 advantage in the third quarter.

&uot;Kim was the key for us. She did a good job of rebounding,&uot; White said. &uot;Latasha played a key factor. She distributed the ball well. They minimized the turnovers. They played good as a team.&uot;

Jim Hill boys 72, Wilkinson County 33

JACKSON &045; After its big win over Jefferson County last Friday night, it appeared that the Wildcats had plenty of momentum going into its game against the Tigers.

But Jim Hill stopped that momentum in a hurry as four Tiger players scored in double figures, led by Sanford Speech’s 23 points, in a 39-point rout of Wilkinson County.

Wilkinson County (5-8) will play the loser of the game between No. 13 Canton and Murrah at 6:30 p.m. today at Wingfield.

&uot;They came out and shot the ball,&uot; Wildcats head coach Henry Storey said of Jim Hill. &uot;Everybody on their team can shoot the ball. They shot through our zone and cut through our man to man.&uot;