Natchez High boys riding win streak

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 27, 2010

NATCHEZ — Despite a slow start to the season, the Natchez High School boy’s basketball team is currently riding a three-game winning streak.

The Bulldogs (5-7) will resume play Monday when they head to Lafayette, La., for the Sunkist Tournament. Assistant coach David Haywood said a win-streak is a good thing to have going into the tournament.

“We’ve been playing with a lot of confidence lately,” Haywood said.

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“We’ve been practicing well, and haven’t really taken any time off. We played this past Tuesday, and turned around and practiced (Thursday). We know we have to be prepared, because there will be some good teams down there.”

While most area teams are hard-pressed to find games during the holiday season, Haywood said the Bulldogs would likely play Monday through Wednesday, or even into Thursday. And Haywood said the tournament would be good preparation for regional games, which start in January.

“Last year was a great example of that,” Haywood said. “We went down there, lost our first game, then won three straight.

“After those games, I think we went on an 11-game winning streak. We schedule (the Sunkist Tournament) because it’s well-organized with some great competition.”

Haywood also said the teams at the Sunkist Tournament bring a different style of basketball than the Bulldogs are used to see.

“The players are so fundamentally sound, and it shows in their play,” he said. “The guys that practice shooting, they shoot from the same spots they practice from, and nowhere else.

“You have to be ready on defense, and their defense will be up in your face and up in your nose. You can’t take a break on defense, because if you stand up, you get back cut. You have to be ready to play down there.”

Natchez had to replace most of its starters from last year’s team, and Haywood said senior Trevon Chatman has been a big key as a returning starter.

“I think our guys have adjusted pretty well,” Haywood said. “We expected a lot out of Trevon, and we expected a lot before he even came in (from football).

“The other guys were waiting for him to get there, because they knew he’d make the game easier for them. He can do a lot of different things on the court.”

And the other players have started to get used to having more playing time, Haywood said.

“Early on, our inexperience was evident,” Haywood said. “We weren’t very successful, but our guys have responded well.

“I give last year’s team a lot of credit. They weren’t the most talented group, but they were tough and worked at it, and these guys are trying to get there.”