Lady Dogs survive

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2007

NATCHEZ — It wasn’t their best game of the season but the Natchez High Lady Bulldogs found a way to win Friday night.

Ebony Stewart hit a basket with three seconds left to clinch a 58-56 win over the Wingfield Lady Falcons.

“The girls were too hyped up for their first district game,” Natchez head coach Sue Johnson. “They wanted it bad and forced too many things.”

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After taking a four-point lead at the end of the first period, Natchez allowed Favian Cowards to lead the Lady Falcons back to tie the game at 26 at halftime.

“We didn’t move on defense,” Johnson said. “We knew (Cowards) was going to score but we allowed their other players to score when they shouldn’t.”

Cowards led Wingfield with 24 points, 10 of her points came on free throws.

The second half was just has tough of a battle as the first.

Starting point guard for Natchez Keosha Bradley fell into foul trouble early in the third period and Jennifer Jackson had to come in off the bench to relieve her.

“We got into serious foul trouble,” Johnson said. “I told everyone they had to step up. Jennifer Jackson did a wonderful job coming in and running the ball down the court.”

Tied at 38 at the start of the fourth period, Alia Frank took over for the Lady Bulldogs scoring eight of her 25 points in the last period before fouling out with 40 seconds left.

“Alia handles pressure very well. She welcomes it,” Johnson said. “She knew she had to focus in and lead the team when Keosha was out of the game.”

Down by five points at one time, Natchez scored off some key turnovers to go up by two points with less than a minute to play.

Lady Falcon Meocha Burns found a lane and tied the game at 56 with 10 seconds remaining.

Natchez quickly called a timeout to set a play.

Bradley received the inbound pass and quickly moved the ball down the court.

As the Lady Falcons collapsed started to collapse on her, Bradley dished the ball to Stewart who was all alone underneath the basket to keep their undefeated record unblemished.

“This wasn’t our best game,” Johnson said. “Our defense is better than what it showed tonight but the girls found a way to win and I’m proud of them for that.”

Wingfield 67, Natchez 43

The best way to describe Natchez’s game against Wingfield Friday night is sloppy.

The Falcons used their speed to fly past the Bulldogs 67-43.

Wingfield’s Chris Wallace led the team with 24 points. He went 14 of 16 from the free throw line.

“Wingfield is a good team,” Natchez assistant coach David Haywood said. “We have a lot of growing up to do.

The Bulldogs had four technical fouls in the game. The one that hurt the most came in the fourth when Dwong Hughes had two called on him and had to leave the game.

“We broke down mentally,” Haywood said. “That is the biggest thing we have to work on.”

The Falcons stretched their lead to more than 30 points at one time. Natchez couldn’t find an answer to Wingfield’s play.

“We didn’t have the same fight we have had,” Haywood said. “But I can promise that next time we’ll play better and fight harder.”

Kendall Logan led the Bulldogs with 14 points.