Natchez boys drop nailbiter, 56-55
Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 20, 2016
By REED DESALVO
The Natchez Democrat
NATCHEZ — Natchez High School has found itself on the losing end on a number of close contests this year.
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Friday night was no exception.
Jadarrious Ivory softly floated a shot toward the basket with approximately 2 seconds remaining, but his shot was knocked away by Wingfield High School’s Robert Washington, preserving a 56-55 win for the Falcons in the boys consolation game of the Region 6-5A tournament.
The loss eliminates Natchez from postseason play.
“I think our guys played with so much heart and passion (Friday),” Natchez coach David Haywood said. “I couldn’t ask for nothing more.”
The Bulldogs found themselves trailing by eight with approximately three minutes to play, but a flurry of Bulldog baskets tied the game 55-55 with less than 10 seconds to play. Washington managed to convert 1-of-2 free throw attempts to put his squad ahead by one, setting up the final sequence.
“That’s Natchez,” Haywood said. “We’re never out of it, and we never give up. If you keep pushing, eventually you’ll get your opportunity.”
The first-year coach said his young team has matured and grown throughout the season, and is poised to make a splash in the years to come.
“To show the kind of passion and heart (we’ve shown), I think Natchez boys is heading in the right direction,” Haywood said.
Natchez will have to replace Ivory and Tyrann Newman, two players Haywood said has helped set the foundation for the program for years to come.
“I love those two,” Haywood said. “Those two kids, I wish I could give them the world. It’s tough playing so many games and being so close, and still sticking to it and bringing the energy every night like they did.”
Wingfield led at the 29-28 and again at the end of the third period, 45-43.
The Falcons were led in scoring by Washington who scored 16 points.
Newman scored 18 points to lead Natchez. Izzy Holmes scored 11 points and pulled down six rebounds.