Ferriday Trojans upset by Northeast, 61-57 in first round

Published 12:04 am Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ferriday’s Dantreize Scott drives to the basket against Northeast. The Trojans lost 61-57. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Ferriday’s Dantreize Scott drives to the basket against Northeast. The Trojans lost 61-57. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — To upset the No. 7 Ferriday Trojans in the opening round of the LHSAA Class 2A playoffs, the No. 26 Northeast High School head coach Darren Taylor targeted the Trojans’ strength and made it a weakness.

Ferriday’s freshmen post players — Dare Rosenthal and Dantrieze Scott — were able to corral rebounds and lead Ferriday to a 31-28 halftime lead, but Taylor, though impressed, was willing to attack Ferriday’s inexperienced duo in the final two quarters.

“When I heard freshman, that’s unbelievable,” said Taylor of his team’s 61-57 victory. “I said, ‘They’re not experienced. Let’s go at them. This is their first playoff game.’”

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Suddenly the baskets stopped falling for Scott underneath, and the free throw attempts that followed would miss their mark, opening the door for a Northeast fourth quarter comeback.

“They made 10 free throws in the fourth quarter to our zero,” Ferriday head coach K.G. Watkins said. “That was the key factor there. We weren’t making the baskets we were normally making, and of course, when we did get a call, we weren’t making the free throws.”

Scott started white-hot in the first quarter with six points, but struggled to convert in the final two quarters, finishing the game with 12 points.

In the third quarter, with a one-point lead, starting point guard Ronald Davis took an elbow to the mouth, jarring his tooth loose and leaving blood splatters on the court. The elbow did not draw a foul, prompting Watkins to rush onto the court and challenge the referees for missing the call. Davis left the game in the third but returned in the fourth quarter to finish the contest.

With the game tied at 53 with three minutes to play, Watkins elected to put Rosenthal back into the game, but the referees stopped him once they saw blood on his jersey. The blood was from Davis’ tooth incident that occurred in the previous quarter.

“It was on the bench, and I put my hand down in it and must have wiped my shirt,” Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal, who led the team with 15 points, did not get to come back into the game until a minute was left, with the Trojans down 56-53 in the contest.

Davis, who had nine points in the game, attempted and missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game with 19 seconds left in the game. A Northeast free throw would later seal the deal with four seconds remaining. Following the contest, Davis said that he and his teammates played flat, uncharacteristically missing fast-break opportunities and easy buckets underneath the goal.

“We just didn’t come out and play hard enough because we were supposed to win this game,” Davis said. “We’ve played way better than this.”

Watkins said this is a loss his young group has to learn from and use as fuel for next season. Ferriday finishes the season with a 16-10 record.