Natchez High cruises past Terry

Published 12:44 am Saturday, January 9, 2010

NATCHEZ — The layup line drill is supposed to be done by basketball teams before a game starts.

But the Natchez High Bulldogs continued the layup drill throughout their game against Terry, and it led to a big 67-44 district victory.

“We really didn’t have to shoot a lot of attempts from the outside,” Natchez coach David Haywood said. “Our penetration was good and we also capitalized off of turnovers.”

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Natchez’s stingy defense forced numerous Terry turnovers that led to Bulldog layups, but Natchez also scored easy baskets running offensive sets, thanks to a patient approach and good ball movement.

“They were sagging off of us,” Natchez guard Jeremy McMorris said. “That allowed us to get in the lane.”

Natchez started off district play 0-3, with the three losses coming by a total of 10 points.

Terry had defeated Natchez 66-63 in the two teams’ first meeting.

However, Friday’s game was never in doubt after Natchez jumped out to a 18-10 lead after the first quarter.

The Bulldogs increased their lead to 38-24 at halftime and cruised to victory in the second half, leading by as much as 26 points early in the fourth quarter.

Trevon Chatman led the Bulldogs with 22 points while McMorris scored 12 and Brandon Holden added 11.

Terry was led by Clayton Tate with 10 points.

Haywood said the defensive effort was something he wants to see every game from the Bulldogs.

“You’re not going to shoot 50 percent from three-point range every night,” Haywood said. “You have to have something you can count on every game, and that is our defense.”

Natchez (11-8) is now 1-3 in district play with two games to go, and Haywood said the Bulldogs will need an effort like they had Friday to win both of those games.

“As hard as we played tonight, it will take twice the effort to go on the road and win in district,” Haywood said. “But I really believe we can do it.”

Natchez High girls 49, Terry 46

The Natchez High Lady Bulldogs have been somewhat inconsistent throughout the year, so it was no surprise that they played such an up-and-down game against Terry.

Natchez took a big lead in the first half only to see Terry roar back to take the lead at the end of the third quarter.

However, the Lady Bulldogs regained their composure and outscored Terry 13-9 in the fourth quarter to take a big district victory.

“It wasn’t pretty but it was a win,” Natchez coach Sue Johnson said. “We’ll take it.”

Natchez led 13-5 after the first quarter and led 22-17 at halftime.

However, Terry outscored the Lady Bulldogs 20-14 in the third quarter to take a 37-36 lead going into the final eight minutes.

“We had too many turnovers and were rushing our offense,” Johnson said of the third quarter. “We were playing like we were behind, just jacking up threes that weren’t falling.”

However, the Lady Bulldogs regrouped in between quarters and played much better defense in the final eight minutes, holding Terry to just nine points.

“We regained our poise in the fourth quarter,” Johnson said. “We could have gotten frustrated and given up but we got it together. It was a real big win for us.”

Natchez improves to 10-8 overall and 3-1 in district with the victory.

Keosha Bradley led Natchez with 15 points while Ricarla Shotwell scored eight.

Terry was led by Bri Lewis and Cassie Berry, who both scored 11 points.