Natchez High boys win, girls end season

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 17, 2018

BROOKHAVEN — James Singleton led four players for Natchez High School in double figures with 15 points as the Bulldogs defeated the Brookhaven High School Panthers 61-57 Friday night in the third-place game of the 2018 MHSAA Region 6-5A Tournament at Brookhaven High School.

Taylor Chasley, Charles Credit and Izzy Holmes Jr. each scored 10 points for No. 3 seed Natchez High. Richard Marshall led No. 4 seed Brookhaven, which saw its season come to an end, with 15 points and Lafollette Bogan added 13 points.

“The guys played a tremendous game defensively,” Bulldogs head coach David Haywood said. “We knew it was going to be close. It’s been at least 15 years since we swept Brookhaven. It was a great team effort defensively.”

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The game was tied at 15-15 at the end of the first quarter before the Bulldogs outscored the Panthers 17-12 in the second quarter to take a 32-27 lead into halftime. But the Panthers would not go away quietly as they outscored the Bulldogs 14-9 in the third quarter to make it a 41-41 game heading into the fourth quarter.

Half of Natchez High’s 20 points came at the free-throw line as the Bulldogs went 10-for-11 down the stretch.

“James and Charles played a tremendous game on both ends. Rebounding and making free throws down the stretch,” Haywood said. “Izzy spent a lot of time on the bench with foul trouble. But he came in down the stretch in the fourth quarter and made a couple of buckets and got some key rebounds.”

Natchez High (18-8) will be on the road in the first round of the MHSAA Class 5A State Tournament at a time to be determined next Tuesday against the Region 7-5A No. 2 seed, either Hattiesburg or Pearl River Central.

Forest Hill 53, Natchez High 49 (girls)

BROOKHAVEN — The Natchez High School Lady Bulldogs saw their season come to an end Friday afternoon as they lost to the Forest Hill High School Lady Patriots 53-49 in the girls’ third-place game of the 2018 MHSAA Region 6-5A Tournament at Brookhaven High School.

No. 3 seed Natchez High could not completely overcome bad shooting in the first quarter in which the Lady Bulldogs scored just three points and trailed by seven points at the end of the period.

No. 4 seed Forest Hill matched point for point with Natchez High in the second quarter to take a 23-16 halftime lead. The Lady Bulldogs outscored the Lady Patriots 13-9 in the third quarter to make it a 32-29 game.

The Lady Bulldogs scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, but struggled to make any stops defensively as the Lady Patriots put up 21 points.

Forest Hill used a balanced scoring attack to offset Natchez High having the game’s two leading scorers. Taaliyah McGraw led the Lady Patriots with 16 points and Geonna Marshall had 13 points.

The Lady Bulldogs (11-14) were led by Aja Carter with 22 points and Candi Gray with 21 points.

Hazlehurst 66, Jefferson County 46 (girls)

PORT GIBSON — ZyNiya White led Port Gibson High School with a game-high 30 points as the Hazlehurst High School Lady Indians rolled to a 66-46 win over the Jefferson County High School Lady Tigers Friday night in the girls’ championship game of the 2018 MHSAA Region 7-3A Tournament at Port Gibson High School.

Hazlehurst, the No. 1 seed, jumped out to a 23-12 lead after one quarter of play and maintained its 11-point lead at halftime. The Lady Indians made sure that the No. 2 seed Lady Tigers would not get back in the game thanks to a 17-7 edge in the third quarter for a commanding 50-29 lead.

Kailyn Hammett led the Lady Tigers with 15 points and Ciara Pree had 11 points. Destinequa Stewart poured in 11 points for Hazlehurst.

Jefferson County (21-5) will be the region’s No. 2 seed and will host Region 6-3A No. 3 seed Crystal Springs next Monday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A State Tournament.