NHS falls short

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Natchez High School’s DeArius Griffin shoots a three point shot during the second quarter of play against Brookhaven. Griffin finished the game with nine points, but Natchez lost to Brookhaven 61-67. (Rod Guajardo \ The Natchez Democrat)


NATCHEZ — The Natchez High School boys’ basketball team played from behind all night in its game against Brookhaven High School Tuesday night and trailed by seven points heading into the fourth quarter.

Brookhaven had grabbed the second-half momentum by scoring 24 points in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs managed to claw their way back into the game in the final period and found themselves tied 55-55 with just under three minutes to go.

But a few mistakes by the Bulldogs in the final three minutes of the game prevented them from getting over the hump and taking a lead on Brookhaven. The Panthers were able to take advantage of those mistakes and held on to beat Natchez 67-61.

“We made some bad decisions down the stretch,” Natchez assistant coach David Haywood said. “In a tight game you have to play harder and you also have to play smarter, and in the last two minutes we made key mistakes.”

One of those key mistakes came with less than a minute to go in the contest when Natchez had possession of the ball trailing by four points. The Bulldogs turned the ball over, and Brookhaven was able to run some time off the clock and with 18 seconds left Brookhaven’s Ross Hill knocked down two free throws to stretch the lead to six.

Haywood said the Bulldogs stopped playing the brand of basketball that allowed them to tie the game at 55.

“We started playing team ball instead of going one-on-one (early in the fourth quarter),” he said. “We were making the extra passes.”

Brookhaven also had a huge edge in rebounds in the game. The Panthers outrebounded the Bulldogs by 20, and Haywood said Brookhaven did not have a huge physical advantage over Natchez.

“It’s effort,” he said. “That team wasn’t too much bigger. They just had a better effort around the goal and went after the ball.”

Gary Woods had the hot hand for the Bulldogs in the game. Woods scored 16 points on five three-pointers to lead Natchez in scoring. Derrian Johnson was the only other Bulldog in double-figures with 12 points. DeArius Griffin and Ryan Lewis each added nine points, and JaDarrius Williams netted eight.

Brookhaven’s Glenn Buie led all scorers with 21 points. Fred Trevillion scored 18 for the Panthers, and Hill added 11 points.

The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 9-15 on the season. They will host Wilkinson County Saturday.

Natchez girls 75, Brookhaven 52

Kiara Johnson’s 27 points led the Natchez High School girls’ basketball team to a comfortable 75-52 win Tuesday night over Brookhaven.

The Lady Bulldogs took control of the contest in the first quarter by outscoring Brookhaven 24-12. Natchez led 39-23 at halftime and cruised to the 23-point win.

Keyana Miller and Roshanae Rice both finished with 14 points for Natchez, and Kiana Jones helped out with eight points of her own.

The win improved Natchez to 18-8 on the season.