BOYS PREP ROUNDUP: Natchez High squeaks out win, 68-66

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, December 30, 2015

HATTIESBURG — The Natchez High School Bulldogs overcame a first-half deficit to defeat the Moss Point High School Tigers 68-66 Tuesday afternoon at the Hattiesburg Coca-Cola Holiday Classic Tournament.

“It was a back-and-forth game, real high tempo,” Natchez High head coach David Haywood said. “They jumped on us early. We were down by six at halftime.”

Then the Bulldogs went on a big run in the third quarter and finally took the lead midway through the quarter. After that, it was a matter of making sure that Moss Point would not reclaim the momentum.

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“Our intensity on defense turned up (in the third quarter). We forced a few turnovers. It gave us a spark,” Haywood said. “They played together, made the extra pass and we converted those looks. I was really proud of how our guys responded. We made our free throws down the stretch. We had a better focus today.”

Natchez High (3-6) will take on D’Iberville today at 1:30 p.m. in the final day of the Hattiesburg Coca-Cola Holiday Classic Tournament.

Tensas High 75, Delta Charter 56

SICILY ISLAND — Grant Jackson finished with a game-high 22 points and Lamonte Bass had 17 points as the Tensas High School Panthers defeated the Delta Charter School Storm 75-56 Monday afternoon at the Sicily Island Tournament.

Delta Charter head coach Ron Ellis attributed the outcome to two things — untimely turnovers near the end of the first half when he felt his team was still in the game and, once again, the third quarter blues.

“We wanted to play at our pace. We didn’t want to get into a sprint with Tensas,” Ellis said. “They’ve got a lot of athletes. One turnover turned into five. A lot of times when we play against good teams, the third quarter’s been killing us.”

The first quarter didn’t produce much scoring and ended with Tensas High leading Delta Charter 13-9.

The Storm did its best to keep up with the Panthers, but costly mistakes allowed Tensas to outscore Delta Charter 26-15 in the second quarter for a 39-24 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, the Panthers put up another 26 points while the Storm could only manage 17 points and went into the fourth quarter down 65-41.

Daevern Mays led the Storm with 15 points and Dawson Woodruff chipped in with 11 points.

Madison 59, Ferriday 51

SICILY ISLAND — The Ferriday Trojans struggled to hold onto a first half lead against Madison High School in the Sicily Island tournament Tuesday, eventually falling 59-51.

The Trojans were outscored 21-10 in the third quarter, and found themselves with too big of a deficit to overcome.

“The third quarter has been our Achilles heel all year,” Ferriday head coach K.G. Watkins said. “We really didn’t come out in the third quarter and play with the intensity that we needed to. We tried to make adjustments, but we are still working through some guard issues.”

It was a slow start to the game for Ferriday, and the Trojans fell behind 18-9 after the first quarter.

However, a 22-5 run in the second quarter gave the Trojans the lead at halftime.

“The second quarter was smooth, effortless and everything went well,” Watkins said. “But then we came back out in the third and just couldn’t find it.”

Dantrieze Scott was the leading scorer for Ferriday with 13 points.

Ferriday will play again at 3 p.m. today against Vidalia in the Sicily Island tournament.

Prentiss 62, Jefferson County 59

FAYETTE — Christian Day scored a game-high 25 points for the Jefferson County Tigers, but it wasn’t enough to top Prentiss High School, as the Bulldogs took the contest 62-59.

Jefferson County fell behind by 11 at halftime, but was able to get back into the game in the second half, outscoring Prentiss 36-24. However, the Tigers couldn’t get a basket when they needed it the most at the end.

Next up for Jefferson County is a clash with Mendenhall at 6:30 p.m. today.

Vidalia 62, Block 52

SICILY ISLAND — The Vidalia Vikings had four players score in double-figures and received some clutch free throw shooting down the stretch to take down the Block Bears 62-52 Tuesday in the Sicily Island tournament.

“It was an ugly win, but we’ll take it,” Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders said. “It was a wild game back and forth for a while.”

After a low scoring first quarter that saw the Vikings take an 8-7 lead, the teams erupted in the second with Block posting 21 points and Vidalia racking up 19.

Vidalia would go on to out-score Block 14-8 in the third quarter and 22-17 in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Sanders said he was happy to see production from everyone in the lineup Tuesday night.

“I like to see that because it shows when we are clicking, the other team can’t just focus on one guy.”

Demarco Brown led Vidalia with 19 points, Desmond Bin-don added 15, Julius Wilson had 14 and Malik Jefferson rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10.

Vidalia will take on Ferriday today to close out the tournament, and Sanders said getting a win is important.

“We are closing in on .500 overall for the season and we are trying to reach that goal and get momentum heading into district,” he said.

Sacred Heart 59, Cathedral 43

HATTIESBURG — The Cathedral Green Wave took a loss Tuesday night in arguably the worst time possible — the championship game — going down to host team Sacred Heart 59-43.

“We started off just horrible,” Cathedral head coach Peter Arnold said. “We were down 10-2, and then every time we grinded to get back even, we would have a break-down on defense and they would go on a run.”

With the score tied late in the third quarter, the Green Wave looked to make a push to win the game. However, Sacred Heart had other plans.

“They went on a 7-0 run and from there we just couldn’t get back even with them,” Arnold said. “An uphill battle the whole time makes for a long night.”

James Coley led Cathedral with 16 points, all of which came in the second half.

“He had two fouls early in the first quarter and he sat out the whole second quarter because we didn’t have any-body with size after him,” Arnold said. “He did much better in the second half, but we need him to play the whole game.”

William Doss was the second leading scorer for Cathedral with 13 points.

With the loss, Cathedral dropped to 10-4 on the year.