Natchez Lady Bulldogs down Murrah

Published 12:04 am Sunday, November 23, 2014

JACKSON — After having to travel 75 miles to take on South Pike Friday, the Natchez High Lady Bulldogs were back on the road Saturday, this time traveling more than 100 miles to take on Murrah High School at the Orsmond Jordan Showcase.

After getting off to a slow start, the Lady Bulldogs showed why they are the defending MHSAA Class 5A state champions as they pulled away in impressive fashion for a 64-42 win over the Lady Mustangs Saturday night.

“They’re one of the biggest games of the year for the simple fact that we beat a Jackson team in Jackson, which is hard to do, at a Jackson tournament,” Natchez High head coach Alphaka Moore said.

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Murrah did its best to stay right with Natchez High in the first half. Led by Emery Wilson, Ahsia Clayton and Jamaica Almons, the Lady Mustangs trailed by just four points, 24-20, at halftime.

“We just had to correct some mistakes we made defensively (in the first half) because defense won the game,” Moore said. “The first half, we played zone. The second half, we played man-to-man press.”

But the second half, in particular the fourth quarter, belonged to Natchez High. The Lady Bulldogs outscored the Lady Mustangs 16-11 in the third quarter for a 40-31 lead. In the fourth quarter, Natchez High’s defense forced several turnovers that resulted in easy lay-ups and a 24-11 advantage.

“We got them rattled and that gave us some leeway to take off. Everybody stepped up, and we were able to pull away with the lead in the second half,” Moore said.

Zyaire Ewing led Natchez High (3-0) with a game-high 21 points while Kirdis Clark poured in 14 points and Rashonae Rice finished with 10 points. Wilson led Murrah with 13 points while both Clayton and Almons had 11 points each.

Natchez High returns to the court on Tuesday, Dec. 2 when it hosts Ferriday High School.

Jefferson County girls 50, Port Gibson 41 (Fri.)

FAYETTE — Diamond Smith had a game-high 16 points, Antrell Gales added 14 points, and Kailyn Hammette scored 12 points as the Jefferson County Lady Tigers needed a big fourth quarter to pull away from rival Port Gibson for a 50-41 win over the Lady Blue Waves Friday night.

As expected, the game between these two longtime rivals was a good one. With this being the season opener for both teams, they came out sluggish during the first quarter, which ended with Jefferson County ahead of Port Gibson 11-6.

Neither team was able to go on a big run over the next two quarters. The Lady Tigers had a 12-11 edge on the Lady Blue Waves in the second quarter to go into halftime with a 23-17 lead. However, the visiting team responded with a 12-10 advantage in the third quarter to make it a 33-29 game with Jefferson County still on top.

Jefferson County was able to get more shots to fall in the fourth quarter, and that proved to be beneficial in outscoring Port Gibson 17-12. J’Nitra Ratliff and Reagan Tinner led the Lady Blue Waves with 11 points each and JaQuita McCay had 10 points.

Jefferson County (1-0) next plays on Monday night at Florence High School.