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Natchez 10-and-under teams go full-throttle in exhibition

Lazarus Arts player Michael Williams, left, fights for a rebound with Doug Lambdin player Semaj Hayes during a game Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Lazarus Arts player Michael Williams, left, fights for a rebound with Doug Lambdin player Semaj Hayes during a game Thursday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Not every shot found the bottom of the net, but that didn’t stop members of Lazarus Arts and Doug Lambdin, two youth teams in the Natchez Recreation League, from throwing up their best shots.

After a slow start, both teams were able to convert on baskets and things appeared they would be all-square heading into halftime.

But Michael Williams nailed a three-point shot with five seconds left to give Lazarus Arts a 5-2 lead.

“He’s a kid that enjoys sports, no matter what it is,” Lazarus Arts head coach Carlos Williams said. “He just loves to compete and could sit here all day.”

Lazarus Arts was able to connect on two more baskets in the game and hold Doug Lambdin to just a free throw in the second half to win, 8-3.

Doug Lambdin coach Savali Savali said passing is going to be key if his team wants to succeed.

“They are doing good, but we’ve got to work on passing the ball more,” he said. “They get frustrated because everyone wants to shoot the three and they don’t know how to handle pressure. But they are young and are going to come around.”

Although Lazarus Arts got the win, Williams said there are still things to improve upon.

“We’ve just got to get fundamentally sound,” he said. “We want them to pick up the basics, learn to play hard and play together. We just try to coach them up and make it a team.”

Despite being a 10-and-under game, both coaches see potential in kids on their teams.

“All it takes is some hard work and will,” Williams said. “A lot of these kids, they don’t mind working hard. They will be fine in whatever they do. Basketball is just a small part of what we are trying to do here.”

Savali agreed.

“I see a handful of them that could go past the high school level,” he said.