Natchez girls top Provine, move in to first place
Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 4, 2016
By REED DESALVO
The Natchez Democrat
NATCHEZ — Natchez High School’s Ernesha Chatman typically plays the role of the facilitator for her squad.
Email newsletter signup
On Wednesday night, the senior point guard found a different route to help her team.
Chatman recorded a game-high 33 points to help Natchez top Provine High School 65-54 in girls basketball action.
The win pushes the Lady Bulldogs to the top of the Region 6-5A standings, and in position to be the No. 1 seed of the region tournament in two weeks.
“I had to step up this game, because we really needed it to be No. 1 in the region,” Chatman said. “I listened to my coach and played my role.”
Perhaps the game’s most important basket came on the final play. Natchez’s Asia Carradine softly banked in a layup that give her squad an 11-point lead. The Lady Bulldogs notched the tie-breaker advantage over the Lady Rams. Provine beat Natchez 68-58 Jan. 22.
“This is the first game we played from beginning to end,” Natchez girls coach Alphaka Moore said. “We’re starting to gel together, so this is the team we should be seeing from here on out.”
Natchez appeared in danger of letting a big fourth-quarter lead slip away after a furious Provine rally. The Lady Bulldogs entered the final period leading 49-36, but the Lady Rams managed to trim the deficit to five with three minutes to play.
But that’s as close as they would come.
Charged by Chatman, Natchez led at the half 31-23 and eventually pushed its advantage to as many as 18, 47-29.
“The fact we were able to spread the lead out further, shows that we came to play (Wednesday),” Moore said.
Chatman was equally effective on the defensive end as she grabbed eight rebounds and picked up seven steals.
“Defense wins games,” Chatman said. “I know defense turns into offense, so the better defense I play, the more offense we’ll have.”
Additionally, Chatman provided some nifty passes as she dished out five assists.
“That’s just players stepping up,” Moore said of Chatman’s performance. “We are at the moment now of ‘Go hard, or go home.’”
Kirdis Clark had 13 points for Natchez and Carradine had nine points.
Elexis Peyton led Provine with 16 points.
Provine boys edge Natchez, 71-67
Jadarrius Ivory poured in 26 points but it wasn’t enough as Natchez boys fell to Provine 71-67 Wednesday night.
Izzy Holmes added 20 points for the Bulldogs, who fell to 4-13.