Manson adds another double-double notch to belt as Trinity wins

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2003

FLOWOOD &045; Trinity Episcopal head coach David King had a mission in mind when he scheduled the University Christian School tournament for his Saints up before the season.

After dropping the Mississippi Private School Association Class A final to Delta last season, King wanted his players to compete with the best MPSA had to offer on the court that will host this year’s finals.

&uot;University Christian is the sight of this year’s state tournament in single-A. I wanted us to get used to the court and the surroundings,&uot; King said. &uot;This group is like all the other ones I’ve had. They expect to be in the state tournament.&uot;

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With another dominant performance from Australian exchange student Robert Manson, Trinity (5-6) squeaked by the host school UCS, 52-49 Tuesday, to set up a consolation game matchup with Benton at 4:30 p.m. today.

Manson led all players with 29 points and 16 rebounds, as the post is making Saint fans quickly forget about Dudley Guice Jr., who transferred to Jefferson County a couple of weeks ago.

&uot;Robert has got to get into the shape where he can play a full game. He hasn’t done that in a long time,&uot; King said. &uot;He’s certainly capable of taking over games. Our kids are so unselfish, they just get him the ball every time.&uot;

Manson’s night thankfully overshadowed the red-hot shooting of, appropriately named, Flames’ guard Jordan Wagner.

Wagner’s sharpshooting from long range allowed UCS to fight back from an eight-point first quarter deficit to square the game at 39-all at the end of three.

Wagner finished with a team high 22 points, with Daniel Zalbadano contributing 20 of his own.

&uot;(Wagner) had six 3s, and I don’t know if we’ll hit six as a team all year,&uot; King said. &uot;The kids are still trying to get used to each other, but they’re coming along well.&uot;

Bogue Chitto 62, Cathedral 55

WESSON &045; This time around it was much closer.

After getting drubbed 76-56 to the Bobcats just a few games back, the Green Wave were in Tuesday’s contest at the Wesson Invitational from start to finish thanks to three players in scored in double figures.

Moving Jonathan Jackson back in from the wing proved beneficial for the Wave (2-11), as the senior score a team-high 15 points to go along with Matt Goss’ 13 and Russell Barmer’s 12, respectively.

&uot;We moved Jonathan back inside and he had a strong game,&uot; Green Wave assistant coach Peter Arnold said. &uot;He played with a lot more confidence. We’re very positive and optimistic starting with the district schedule next week.&uot;

The Bobcats took the lead for good in the third period, outscoring Cathedral 20-11, by crashing the glass and making the extra pass from uncontested layups.

Irrie Catchings led all scorers with 21 points and Nicholas Smith poured in 16.

&uot;We played a great first half. Basically in that third quarter (Bogue Chitto) started to get too many second chance opportunities,&uot; Arnold said. &uot;That was the difference in the game. It came down to the end.&uot;

Bogue Chitto girls 70, Cathedral 42

WESSON &045; Lady Bobcat Marley Porter’s streaky shooting from 3-point distance ruined Danielle Smith’s fourth straight double-double, which included a Ben Wallace-like 20 rebounds.

Porter has 20 first half points to lead Bogue Chitto, who continued to impressed Cathedral head coach Erin Binns.

&uot;(The Lady Bobcats) are always tough; they take basketball pretty seriously in Lincoln County,&uot; Binns said. &uot;I thought we played well. I didn’t have much to complain about with the girls.&uot;

The Lady Bobcats controlled the tempo from the opening tip, building a 42-18 leading by half’s end.

Smith’s 10 along with Leighton McDaniel’s 10 points led the Lady Wave (1-12)

&uot;In the fourth quarter I pulled (Smith) out when she had eight points and 20 rebounds. When I found out she was that close (to another double-double), I put her back in and she got another basket.&uot;

Hazlehurst 41, Natchez girls 39

HATTIESBUG &045; Brittany West knows the history the Lady Bulldogs have at the Coca-Cola Holiday Classic.

She knows the tournament always serves as a springboard for Natchez heading into district play.

That’s why Tuesday’s two-point loss, which included a one-point second quarter, was such a bitter pill to swallow for the Lady Bulldogs (2-8).

&uot;Hattiesburg has always been the turning point for Natchez High teams in the past,&uot; said West, who scored nine points. &uot;Usually we go get after it after this tournament. We have to capitalize on this opportunity.&uot;

Shun Williams and Nicole Perry led Hazlehurst with 12 apiece, while Wennifer Noble had 13 points to lead Natchez and all scorers.

Noble could not quite put into words what happened in the second period.

&uot;We were trying, but we just couldn’t get a good shot off,&uot; she explained. &uot;We were taking quick shots and couldn’t manage to get the ball inside.&uot;