Natchez High girls advance to South State tourney

Published 12:01 am Sunday, February 17, 2019

JACKSON — Kelsey McNeal led the Natchez High School Lady Bulldogs with 15 points as they defeated the Wingfield High School Lady Falcons 49-46 Friday afternoon in the girls’ third-place game of the MHSAA Region 6-5A Tournament.

McNeal was one of three players for No. 4 seed Natchez High to score in double figures. Tremecia Proby finished with 11 points and Rearnna Mayberry added 10 points.

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Not only that, the Lady Bulldogs kept their season alive and in the process ended the season for the No. 3 seed Lady Falcons on their own home court. Only three teams from the region advance to the Class 5A South State Tournament.

Head coach ShaRhonda Gipson noted a few things were key to Natchez High’s win.

“Defense. Everybody playing hard and sacrificing,” Gipson said. “Tremecia, Rearnna and Kelsey stepped up on both ends of the court. They stayed motivated the whole game.”

Both teams struggled to get shots to fall in the first quarter, which ended with Natchez High having a 7-5 lead. The Lady Bulldogs outscored the Lady Falcons 15-13 in the second quarter for a 22-18 halftime advantage.

However, Wingfield played some stout defense of its own in the third quarter, holding Natchez High to just 10 points while scoring 15 points itself for a 33-32 lead. But the Lady Bulldogs would not be denied as they outscored the Lady Falcons 17-13 in the fourth quarter.

Wingfield (4-21) had just one player score in double digits, and that was Sade Thompson with a game-high 20 points. Claudasheia Buck and Tahja Coleman had seven points each.

As the No. 3 seed out of Region 6, Natchez High (12-16) will play at Laurel High School, the Region 5 No. 2 seed on Monday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Class 5A State Tournament.

Wingfield boys 84,

Natchez High 65

JACKSON — Stephon Thomas led Wingfield High School with a game-high 22 points and Damarion Arrington had 15 points as the Falcons pulled away in the second half for an 84-65 win over the Natchez High School Bulldogs Friday afternoon in the boys’ third-place game of the MHSAA Region 6-5A Tournament.

Natchez High, the No. 4 seed, did not back down from tournament host and No. 3 seed Wingfield in the first half. The Bulldogs had a 16-12 lead after one quarter of play and went into halftime tied at 36-all.

Then the Falcons played like a completely different team in the second half, especially on defense. They outscored the Bulldogs 22-13 in the momentum-swinging third quarter and capped off the comeback win with a 26-16 advantage in the fourth quarter.

Jakel Barnes led the Bulldogs with 20 points while James Singleton had 16 points and T.J. Credit added 13 points. Natchez High finished with an overall record of 12-13.

Jefferson County girls 47,

Franklin County 36

HAZLEHURST — The Jefferson County High School Lady Tigers entered the MHSAA Region 7-3A Tournament as the No. 5 seed. After a stunning upset win over No. 2 seed Franklin County High School, they made a lot of believers.

Iyronica Barnes had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds while A’Kira Doss almost had a double-double of her own to lead the Lady Tigers to a 47-36 victory over the Lady Bulldogs Friday afternoon in the third-place game.

As surprising of a tournament run as it was for Jefferson County, it was a disappointing one for Franklin County, which was expecting to play for the district title against No. 1 seed Hazlehurst. Instead, the Lady Bulldogs lost to No. 3 seed Port Gibson High School and then could not keep up with the Lady Tigers in the second half just 24 hours later to end up as the region’s No. 4 seed.

Jefferson County went into halftime with a slim one-point lead, 17-16, before going on a tear on the other side of the break. The Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Bulldogs 12-7 in the third quarter and 18-13 in the fourth quarter.

Doss had a solid game with nine points and eight rebounds while Brittany Goldsberry ended up with eight points and five assists.

Jefferson County (no record given) will hit the road to Bassfield to take on Jefferson Davis County, the Region 8 No. 2 seed on Monday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Class 3A State Tournament and Franklin County will be at Tylertown, the Region 8 No. 1 seed, also that Monday at 7 p.m.

Wilkinson County boys 57, Port Gibson 40

HAZLEHURST — Freddie Byrd III led all scorers with 31 points and the Wilkinson County High School Wildcats used a big third quarter to upset the Port Gibson High School Blue Waves 57-40 Friday afternoon in the boys’ consolation game of the MHSAA Region 7-3A Tournament at Hazlehurst High School.

Wilkinson County led Port Gibson 12-9 after one quarter of play and maintained its three-point lead at halftime after both teams scored 13 points in the second quarter to make it a 25-22 game.

The Wildcats hunkered down on defense in the third quarter, holding the Blue Waves to just six points. And defense led to offense for the Wildcats as they put up 19 points to take a 44-28 lead into the fourth quarter.

Leslie Hill ended up with 11 points to lead Port Gibson in scoring.

Wilkinson County (5-18) will be on the road to take on Seminary, the Region 8 No. 2 seed on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Class State Tournament.

Hazlehurst boys def. Franklin County boys

HAZLEHURST — The Hazlehurst High School Indians defeated the Franklin County High School Bulldogs Friday night in the boys’ championship game of the MHSAA Region 7-3A Tournament at Hazlehurst.

No other information on the game, including a final score, was available. Franklin County (no record given) will be the No. 2 seed out of Region 7-3A and will play host to Region 8 No. 3 seed Columbia High School on Tuesday, Feb. 19 in the first round of the MHSAA Class 3A State Tournament.

Brookhaven Academy girls 55, Centreville Academy 37

BROOKHAVEN — After a pair of impressive double-digit wins, Centreville Academy went up against one of the top teams in all of MAIS Class AA in Brookhaven Academy in the girls’ semifinals of the Class AA South State Tournament.

And the District 3 No. 1 seed and tournament host Lady Cougars gave the District 4 No. 2 seed Lady Tigers a dose of reality with a 55-37 victory Friday afternoon to advance to today’s championship game.

The loss sent Centreville Academy (no record given) to the girls’ consolation game, which will be played today at 1 p.m. The Lady Tigers will take on District 3 No. 2 seed Clinton Christian Academy. The Lady Warriors lost to District 4 No. 1 seed Lamar Christian School 41-37 in the other girls’ semifinal contest.