NHS stymies WCHS

Published 12:17 am Sunday, February 5, 2012

Natchez High School’s Davante Green drives to the basket past Wilkinson County’s Frank Jordan during the second half of Saturday’s game. (Rod Guajardo \ The Natchez Democrat)

 

NATCHEZ — They passed well, they found the open man, they created their own shots and they played good defense.

And the Natchez High School Bulldogs had little trouble against Wilkinson County High School, downing the Wildcats 73-43 Saturday night.

In the final regular-season game of the year for both teams, NHS got an early 19-12 lead after the first quarter, then stymied the Wildcats in the second quarter, scoring 16 unanswered points before WCHS’s Philip Fountain sank a layup with 2:09 left before halftime.

The Bulldogs led 37-20 at the half, and the Wildcats were never able to mount a comeback.

Despite the impressive win, Bulldogs assistant coach David Haywood was still able to find something his team needed to improve in preparation for the Region 6-6A tournament next Tuesday at Forest Hill.

“I think we played hard for the majority of the game, but at times we got caught up on the score and were not focusing on defense,” Haywood said. “That’s going to be key for us in our game next Tuesday (against Forest Hill).”

Haywood said specifically that his team’s free throw shooting needed to improve, as the Bulldogs were only 11-for-25 from the foul line.

“We shot pretty good, but we missed too many free throws,” Haywood said. “We need to relax on the free throw line, and our form was off. We just played to the score.”

Gary Woods led the way for the Bulldogs, scoring 13 of NHS’s 19 points in the first quarter en route to a 22-point performance on the night. The Bulldogs’ Quincy Washington tallied 10 points, while Derrian Johnson and Davante Green each had eight points.

Fountain finished with 12 points for WCHS, and Thomas Seaberry had eight points for the Wildcats.

WCHS head coach Ronald Hines said his team ran into a fast Bulldogs squad, and were short-handed against NHS.

“Their guards are fast, and we played last night, so we were worn out,” Hines said.

Hines also said two of their bigger players, Delaney Ross and Marcus Robinson, did not dress out due to nagging injuries. That factored heavily into the Wildcats’ inability to consistently rebound the ball, Hines said.

“We were very limited,” Hines said. “We got down early, and the rebounding wasn’t there. We didn’t have an answer for (NHS’s) bigger kids on the boards.”

Even with the loss, Hines said he feels good about his team heading into the Region 7-3A tournament next week.

“Were playing Franklin County, and we split with them in the regular season,” Hines said. “We’ve won three of the last four, and we’re reaching our peak at the right time. It will be a great basketball game.”

NHS will play Forest Hill at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Forest Hill in the first round of the regional tournament.

Natchez High girls 73, Wilkinson County 47

The Lady Bulldogs scored the same amount of points as their male counterparts as they finished the regular season on a high note.

Ashley Minor led NHS with 16 points, Keyana Miller had 14 points and Kierra Johnson scored 12 points. Lakenya Franklin tallied 10 points for the Lady Bulldogs.

NHS led 41-24 at the half.

Lineasia Palmer and Ambernekia Palmer each scored 13 points for Wilkinson County. Sasha Carter added 11 points for the Lady Wildcats.

NHS will play Brandon at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Forest Hill in the regional tournament.