ACCS girls overcome early deficit to beat Cathedral, 41-35

Published 12:59 am Saturday, January 27, 2018

By Garrett Kroeger

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — After the first eight minutes of the Adams County Christian School-Cathedral girls basketball game, the scoreboard read 12-5 in favor of the Green Wave in the Lady Rebels’ home gym.

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ACCS could not buy a basket, and it seemed like Cathedral was going to roll to a victory with ease. But then Lady Rebels’ coach Melanie Hall set her team straight.

“To believe,” Hall said about what she told her team in between the first and second quarter. “To want it more and to take care of it in their house.”

Her message was received as ACCS rode its own wave of defense, rebounding with the refusal to lose for a 41-35 victory to claim a crucial district win.

In the second quarter it was all Lady Rebels. A steal here, a second chance rebound there and even two momentum-shifting, into-the-stands blocks by Lexie Emanuel helped ACCS outscore Cathedral 23-12 in the second quarter.

“(ACCS) wanted it badly,” Hall said. “I told them they had to play tenacious defense. We had to take care of the basketball, and we had to rebound. Every 50-50 ball had to be ours.”

Although the Lady Rebels made it their mission to get every 50-50 ball, it wasn’t like the Green Wave wasn’t putting in an effort to get the rebounds as well. It was just Cathedral’s positioning that cost it the win in the long run.

“Larry Bird was a great rebounder in the NBA where guys could jump a foot higher than him,” Cathedral coach Peter Arnold said. “It’s all about position. Fighting for position and then, if you want the ball you are going to get the ball.

“The person hungry enough is going to find the food. If you want that rebound bad enough, you’ll go get it.”

At the end of the 32 minutes, the Lady Rebels were just hungrier to grab rebound after rebound.

Now, that was not the only reason why ACCS took down Cathedral Friday night.

After a rough first quarter, the Lady Rebels’ Brianna Henson heated up and finished with 15 points. She also received help from Danyel Weir, who chipped in 11 points of her own.

While those two led the way to take down the Green Wave, Cathedral’s Baylee Graning was called for three fouls before midway through the second quarter, which hurt her and her team’s momentum.

The win keeps ACCS perfect in district play (2-0), while Cathedral suffered its first district loss (2-1). However, Arnold isn’t to concern about the one loss blemish.

“I just told the girls right now, we are 19-5, 2-1 in district, I’m not going to cry about it,” Arnold said. “We lost the game. We’ve got Brookhaven Academy and then we go back to Silliman (Institute) on Tuesday. The game of basketball — win or lose — you can’t get to high or low because there is another game.”

While the Green Wave will look to rebound from the loss, ACCS will look to carry over the momentum into its next game.

“Big, huge momentum boost,” Hall said. “Of course, every game in district, every night is an opportunity. You got to be ready every night you step out onto the court. You got to be ready to play. ‘Cause anything can happen on any given night.”

And what happened on Friday night at ACCS, the Lady Rebels refused to lose to the Green Wave.