Cathedral, ACCS meet on hardwood for the first time

Published 12:44 am Wednesday, November 18, 2009

NATCHEZ — For both teams involved, cross-town rivalries are usually not hard to get up to play for.

In the case of Cathedral School and Adams County Christian School, it wasn’t a case of both basketball teams not being able to get up for each other; but rather, being allowed to play each other.

While both Cathedral and ACCS are private schools, Cathedral plays in the MHSAA and ACCS the MAIS. Although the state of Mississippi granted MHSAA and MAIS schools permission to play each other a few years ago, the Archdiocese of Jackson didn’t agree to let Cathedral play MAIS schools until this past year.

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Thus, when the ACCS and Cathedral boys and girls faced off Tuesday night, it was the first time the two schools ever played each other.

Lady Rebels head coach Melanie Hall said she was glad her team was given the chance to face the Lady Green Wave.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Hall said. “I think it’s great for the city of Natchez.”

Hall’s varsity girls did not disappoint in their inaugural game against Cathedral, defeating the Lady Green Wave 45-30.

The Lady Rebels were led in scoring by Marlee Wadsworth, who finished with 16 points on the evening.

“I think Wadsworth played a really strong game,” Hall said. “She took over in the second half. She’s a great leader for this team. She has a good attitude and is a hard worker.

“She tore her ACL two summers ago. Even though she came back for us this past December, I think she’s more comfortable now than she’s ever been (since the injury took place).”

Both teams started slowly in the first half, and the score was tied 19-19 at halftime. It was in the second half that the Lady Rebels took control, scoring 26 points while holding Cathedral to just 11. Fourteen of Holloway’s 16 points came in the second half.

“I thought we got what we wanted in the first half, but we just didn’t execute,” Hall said. “Our girls came out as a completely different team in the second half.”

For the Lady Green Wave, Ana Perry led with 11 points. Ginny Daggett added seven points for Cathedral.

“We played hard,” Cathedral girls coach Bernita Dunbar said. “We have to give it a little more to come out with a win next time.

“It’s early in the season. There are still some things we need to work on, like rebounding and boxing out our opponents.”

The ACCS girls rose to 5-2 on the season. The Cathedral girls fell to 0-2.

The Cathedral varsity boys held a comfortable lead in most of their game with the ACCS boys, but had to hold on in the end for a 67-63 win.

With 4:30 to go in the fourth quarter, Cathedral led 62-46. However, the Rebels went on a 14-2 run the next three minutes, making the score 64-60 Cathedral with 1:13 to go in regulation.

Cathedral senior Charles Lee was fouled twice in the last minute, and hit three of his four free throws. The Green Wave then managed to hold ACCS to just three points in the final minute of play.

“It was a great game all the way to the end,” Cathedral boys coach Peter Arnold said. “Lee made some big free throws there for us in the end. ACCS shot the ball as well as I heard they do.”

ACCS boys head coach Rick Fife said poor free throw shooting and rebounding doomed his team.

“We were something like 7-22 at the free throw line, and they killed us on rebounds,” Fife said. “Also, I felt like we took some bad shots, which is out of character for us.”

The Cathedral boys rose to 1-1 on the season. The ACCS boys fell to 3-1.