Natchez girls, boys roll over Jefferson County

Published 1:21 am Wednesday, January 20, 2010

NATCHEZ — When spectators caught a glimpse of the final scoreboard Monday, the story in their minds likely went like this: The Natchez High School varsity girls dominated Jefferson County High School.

Ask Lady Bulldog’s head coach Sue Johnson, however, and it’s a totally different story.

“The score didn’t reflect what actually happened in the game,” Johnson said.

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Although Natchez pounded Jefferson County 65-32, Johnson said her players still had a laundry list of things to improve on.

“We just looked raggedy out there,” Johnson said. “We haven’t smoothed out all the kinks, and it’s too late in the season to be playing as raggedy as we’re playing.”

To Johnson, “raggedy” means poor fundamental play, she said.

“Missing wide open layups, turnovers, not cutting off the baseline, half of them playing in man and half in zone… that’s what I mean by raggedy — shabby.”

And if the Lady Bulldogs don’t improve quickly, Johnson said they’re going to be in for a rude awakening in a key district game coming up in the next few days.

“If we play like that against Jim Hill Friday, we’re coming home with our tail between our legs. We’ll be a bull pup instead of a bulldog.”

Strong defense and six missed free throws by the Lady Tigers led to Natchez having a 13-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. The trend continued in the second quarter, with the Lady Bulldogs holding Jefferson County to six points. They led 26-10 at the half.

Scoring was evenly spread out for Natchez, with three players reaching double-digit point totals. Anastasia Hutchins led the Lady Bulldogs with 19 points. Keosha Bradley added 16 points and Keyana Miller had 12 points.

Taylor Mims tallied 16 points for the Lady Tigers.

If there was one bright spot for Natchez in Johnson’s eyes, it was the play of her bench players.

“We went to the bench more tonight,” Johnson said. “When people weren’t getting the job done, we started going to the bench faster and quicker, and we’re going to keep going to the bench if they continue to not get the job done.

“We got some good help from the bench tonight. We had some people come in and play good defense.”

The Lady Bulldogs (10-9, 3-1) will take on a Jim Hill team that is 3-1 in district play Friday, and Johnson said she’s hoping for a complete game from her players.

“We have not played our best game yet. We’re so much better than what we’ve been showing. I still believe we are going to gel when the time is right.”

Natchez boys 83, Jefferson County 52

The matchup between the Natchez and Jefferson County boys was more of the same, with the Bulldogs capturing their seventh win in a row.

Natchez rode a 25-7 lead at the end of the first quarter to an 83-52 blowout Monday in which five Bulldog players scored in double digits.

Brandon Holden led Natchez with 22 points. Jeremy McMorris added 15 points, Trevon Chatman scored 14 points and Kelli Puckett tallied 11 points.

If there was one player the coaches were impressed with the most, however, it was Joel Davis, who scored 10 points.

“Davis played point guard well tonight,” Natchez assistant coach David Haywood said. “He distributed the ball well, and was a general on the court for us tonight.”

Davis credited defensive intensity as a big reason for the win, and said he was able to get some good looks when commanding the Bulldogs offense.

“There were a few gaps that I saw, and I just got the ball to where they were, which allowed us to hit a few shots,” Davis said.

Terry Tenner and Davion Noble both had 16 points for Jefferson County. Bouvier Ellis added 12 points.

Natchez (15-8, 1-3) will play at Jim Hill Friday.