Natchez rolls to win over Wingfield

Published 12:11 am Saturday, February 4, 2017

Natchez High School coach David Haywood has said all season long his squad is at its best when Larry Griffin plays at a high level.

But when the 6-foot-5 senior was forced to the bench with his fourth foul at a pivotal point midway through the third quarter of a close game, Haywood needed other players to step up and rise to the occasion.

Mission accomplished.

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Izzy Holmes Jr. poured in 28 points and Natchez blew past Wingfield 63-47 to earn its first region victory on senior night.

Natchez outscored Wingfield 22-10 in the third to bust open what was just a two-point game at the half.

“A lot of times when we’re playing well and being successful, it revolves around Larry,” Haywood said. “He got into foul trouble, and we looked to other guys to do it by a committee. Izzy, Charles (Credit) and Taylor Chasley, they pulled the load for Larry tonight.”

Holmes scored 13 of his points in the final period and picked up the slack with Griffin limited throughout with foul trouble. Griffin finished with just two points.

“Izzy is a heck of an athlete,” Haywood said. “He works hard. He’s a pretty good player when he’s coming focused ready to play.”

While Holmes provided the scoring punch, Elijah Hill provided the inside physicality. Point guard Charles Credit also played a pivotal role as the point guard scored 14 points, including a buzzer-beater 3 at the end of the third period.

“Charles can shoot the ball,” Haywood said. “I don’t put too much on his stature. He’s small, but he’s got a big heart. He’s not afraid to take the big shot. Every time he shoots, he thinks he’s going to make it.”

Natchez will attempt to keep the momentum going next Friday at Amite County. The non-region contest will be the Bulldogs’ last before it heads to the region tournament Feb. 14 at Provine.

Natchez (girls) 71, Wingfield 65

Kirdis Clark scored a team-high 28 points and Natchez recorded its first region win Friday, topping Wingfield 71-65.

The Lady Bulldogs (5-12, 1-5) were without head coach Tim Richardson for the second straight game because of health reasons, Natchez-Adams School District Superintendent Fred Butcher said. Butcher said Richardson would “most likely” miss the remainder of the season.

Natchez led by double figures after three periods but had to hold off a furious fourth-quarter Wingfield rally. The Lady Falcons outscored the Lady Bulldogs 24-15 in the final frame, but never came closer than the five-point final margin.

“I’m very happy for the girls,” interim head coach Willie Woods said. “We got tired at the end. We’re trying to build some confidence.”

Aja Carter had 15 points for Natchez, while Destiny Lyles chipped in with 13. Eriana Thompson led Wingfield with 43 points.

“We just want to continue to work hard on defense and offense,” Woods said.