Wingfield tames Bulldogs

Published 12:16 am Sunday, February 14, 2010

NATCHEZ — With a packed gym and an emotional high, the Natchez High School varsity boys hoped to knock off undefeated Wingfield Saturday in the Region 6-6A championship game.

The Falcons, however, had other plans.

Despite an even-keel start between the two teams for one quarter, Wingfield began to pull away in the second quarter, before riding a strong third quarter to an 80-61 victory, clinching a district championship.

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The Bulldogs rode hot shooting by Brandon Holden in the first quarter, who scored 11 of their 16 in that frame, and trailed only 19-16 with 14 seconds left in the first.

However, a 3-point basket at the buzzer by Wingfield’s Jamichael Hutchins gave the Falcons a 22-16 lead at the end of one, and some momentum going into the second quarter.

Wingfield proceeded to score 19 more points in the second quarter, while holding Natchez to 11, and led 41-27 at the half.

“We started out pretty well, but they had a good run right before halftime, which I think gave them a comfort level going into the second half,” Natchez assistant David Haywood said.

And that comfort level was evident. Wingfield outscored Natchez 24-12 in the third, highlighted by a 14-0 run that ate two minutes off the clock.

“To give something like that to a team of that caliber, you can’t do that,” Haywood said. “They’re not undefeated for nothing. We weren’t able to come back from that.”

Natchez’s Jeremy McMorris led in scoring with 22 points. Holden added 19 to the Bulldogs’ total.

For Wingfield, Trency Jackson led with 24 points. Darius Forest scored 15 points and Jurmond Cattenhead tallied 12 points.

With the loss, Natchez (14-11) will be on the road in the first round of the 6A South State playoffs. Haywood said there was a lot his players would have to take from this game if they were going to make any noise Monday.

“We have to play with a high energy level for a longer period of time,” Haywood said. “We have to play with intensity, and we have to play with it for four quarters.”

As for Wingfield (29-0), the Falcons look to be odds-on favorites to win the 6A title.

“They’re a good high school team,” Haywood said. “They have a lot balance. They shoot well on the outside, penetrate really well and get the offensive rebound really well.”