NHS loses to McComb

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Natchez High’s Derrian Johnson gets around McComb’s Cavellis Luckett during their game Tuesday night at NHS. Johnson finished the game with 22 points. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)


NATCHEZ — Fouling out with 49 seconds left was about the only negative for Natchez High School’s Derrian Johnson Tuesday night.

Unfortunately for the Bulldog’s, Johnson’s 22-point performance was not enough to overcome the team’s up-and-down play against McComb High School.

And it was that inconsistency that led to the Bulldogs losing 71-51, assistant coach David Haywood said.

“We didn’t play well enough for long periods of time,” Haywood said.

“We struggled offensively. (McComb is) fast-break. They made shots, we missed open shots, and it’s hard to overcome turnovers and not making baskets. Then, when we (forced) turnovers, we weren’t capitalizing, so it was a rough night for us.”

McComb looked to build a big lead early and was ahead 14-8 with 19 seconds left in the first quarter. But a three-point basket by Johnson with two seconds left in the period kept the Bulldogs within striking distance after one.

The two teams went back and forth in the second quarter before McComb went on a 9-0 run midway through the period. The Bulldogs scored four points to the Tigers’ two in the final two minutes before halftime, and McComb led 34-25 at intermission.

NHS began to mount a comeback in the third quarter, limiting McComb to nine points in the first seven minutes of the quarter. Meanwhile, Johnson scored six of the Bulldogs’ 15 points in that timespan, and NHS cut McComb’s lead to 43-40 with 1:09 left in the period.

But the Bulldogs failed to score a point in the final minute of the third, and the Tigers reeled off seven points to make it 50-40 after three.

In the fourth quarter, NHS managed just eight points as the Tigers put the Bulldogs away for good, and Johnson tallied his fifth foul of the night after scoring his final points from beyond the arc with 2:49 left to play.

“He hustles and works hard the whole game,” Haywood said of Johnson’s play. “He tries to give it his all, and sometimes he kind of goes a little bit too much and gets a little overly aggressive, which is why he was in foul trouble tonight. Overall, his effort is really good.”

DeArius Griffin tallied 14 points for NHS. McComb was led by Antonio Johnson, who finished with 15 points, while Deonte Evans had 14 points.

Natchez girls 57,

McComb 55, OT

Ashley Minor scored 14 points for the Lady Bulldogs as NHS edged McComb in overtime to improve to 16-5 on the year.

Kiana Jones and Keyana Miller both had 13 points for NHS, which led 22-18 at the half.

NHS will host Brandon Friday.