Natchez High, Vidalia win at Sunkist

Published 12:14 am Monday, December 28, 2009

LAFAYETTE, La. — The Natchez High Bulldogs bounced back from a tough loss to Many on Saturday by defeating the New Iberia Yellow Jackets 84-52 Sunday afternoon at the 2009 Sunkist Shootout on the campus of St. Thomas More High School.

Five Natchez High players scored in double figures, led by Kelli Puckett with a game-high 20 points.

“We played good today defensively. We shot the ball well. The best we’ve shot all year,” Puckett said.

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Jeremy McMorris poured in 18 points, Brandon Holden scored 16 points, and Trevon Chatman and Joel Davis each added 10 points for Natchez High (7-8), which will take on Comeaux today at 12:30 p.m.

Unlike their first game of this tournament in which they scored just six points in the first quarter of their six-point loss to Many, the Bulldogs got off to a better start and led New Iberia 13-10 at the end of the first quarter. That would be as close as the Yellow Jackets would get the rest of the ball game.

Natchez High out scored New Iberia 24-17 in the second quarter to take a 10-point halftime lead. The Bulldogs then put the game out of reach in the third quarter thanks to an outstanding effort on both ends of the court. They put up 25 points while holding the Yellow Jackets to just 10 points.

“(Saturday) we came out slowly. But today we came out hard from the beginning and played hard the whole game,” Puckett said.

Dalario Austin led New Iberia with 16 points and Javonta Johnson chipped in with nine points.

Vidalia 57, Vandebilt Catholic 54

LAFAYETTE, La. — Four Vidalia players scored in double figures as the Vikings rallied in the second half after a dismal second quarter to defeat the Vandebilt Catholic Terriers and advance to the semifinals of the 2009 Sunkist Shootout

Torrey Dixon led Vidalia (7-3) in scoring with 16 points while Eric Bell scored 13 points, Gary Stewart had 12 points and D.J. Polk finished with 10 points. The Vikings will take on the winner of the St. Thomas More/Teurlings Catholic winner today at 6 p.m.

Vidalia got off to a good start and led Vandebilt Catholic 21-13 at the end of the first quarter. But then the Vikings’ offense went ice cold in the second quarter and the Terriers, led by Elijah McGuire and Lionheart Leslie, took advantage by outscoring them 20-6 to take a 33-27 lead at halftime. McGurie led all scorers with 20 points and Leslie added 12 points.

But the Vikings regrouped in the second half and would not be denied a spot in the semifinals. With a 19-13 advantage in the third quarter, Vidalia and Vandebilt Catholic were tied at 46-46. Then the Vikings’ defense took over in the fourth quarter, holding the Terriers to just eight points while their offense did just enough to finish off the come-from-behind win.