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Prep Basketball Roundup: Natchez High close to comeback victory

JACKSON — Damarion Arrington was almost unstoppable in the post and Kentavian Hogan put on a show from long distance as the Wingfield High School Falcons held on for a 60-58 win over the Natchez High School Bulldogs Tuesday night in the first round of the MHSAA Region 6-5A Tournament.

This year’s Region 6-5A Tournament is being played at Siwell Middle School and the host school is Forest Hill High School. Natchez High’s varsity boys’ team entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed while Wingfield was the No. 2 seed.

Bulldogs Head Coach David Haywood said the outcome of this game came down to the small things.

“We had a couple of turnovers down the stretch and they had a couple of offensive rebounds,” Haywood said. “We were a play or two short down the stretch.”

Wingfield got off to a good start and led Natchez High 15-11 at the end of the first quarter. But the Bulldogs responded in a big way on both ends of the court. Led by KeDarius Stampley and James Singleton, they outscored the Falcons 19-10 to grab a 30-25 halftime lead.

However, Wingfield took the momentum after halftime of what Hawyood described as a back-and-forth game. The Falcons put up 19 points in the third quarter while holding the Bulldogs to 12 points for a 44-42 lead.

The Bulldogs scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, but they couldn’t make enough stops to pull out the win as the Falcons also had 16 points.

Arrington led Wingfield with a game-high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line to go with seven blocked shots and six rebounds. Hogan made three 3-pointers and finished with 12 points as well as four rebounds and three steals. Deonta Griffin had 13 points, eight rebounds and two assists.

Stampley led the Bulldogs (14-11) with 16 points and Singleton finished with 14 points.

“It was a great game by teams coaching-wise. You could tell that this game had a playoff atmosphere,” Haywood said. “I had never seen so many players diving for loose balls to keep possession.”

In addition to Stampley’s performance, Haywood also praised the play of Dionte Thomas, who had eight points, and Stan Starks, who had four points..

“KeDarius gave us some toughness getting offensive rebounds. Starks and Thomas down the stretch of the season have been some playmakers and brought a spark to the team. I look for them to continue to contribute on Friday and into the playoffs,” Haywood said.

The Bulldogs will take on No. 4 seed Jim Hill High School at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the boys’ consolation game with a berth in the Class 5A South State Playoffs on the line. Jim Hill fell to 6-18 overall and falling to No. 1 seed and Class 5A No. 3 Forest Hill High School (22-5) 99-54 Monday night in the other first-round game.

“I think the bracket, if we win Friday, is winnable for us. But first things first, we’ve got to take care of Jim Hill Friday,” Haywood said.

Jim Hill girls 59,

Natchez High 53 (Tues.)

JACKSON — The Natchez High Lady Bulldogs, the No. 3 seed in the girls’ bracket of the MHSAA Region 6-5A Tournament, fell just short of advancing to the championship game as they lost to the No. 2 seed Jim Hill High School Lady Tigers 59-53 Tuesday night.

Natchez High will take on No. 4 seed Wingfield High School Friday at 4 p.m. in the girls’ consolation game with a berth in the Class 5A South State Playoffs at stake. Wingfield lost to No. 1 seed Forest Hill High School 63-21 Monday afternoon in the other first-round contest.

Wilkinson County girls, boys advance in Region 7-3A Tournament (Tues.)

FAYETTE — The Wilkinson County High School Wildcats and Lady Wildcats each pulled out victories Tuesday night to advance to the semifinals of the MHSAA Region 7-3A Tournament at Jefferson County High School.

In the girls’ first-round game, No. 4 seed Wilkinson County held on for a 29-24 win over the No. 5 seed Port Gibson Lady Green Waves.

The Lady Wildcats will take on No. 1 seed Franklin County High School in a girls’ semifinal match-up today at 4 p.m. They also locked up a spot in next week’s MHSAA Class 3A South State Tournament as one of the four teams that will come out of Region 7-3A.

The same will be said for the fourth-seeded Wilkinson County Wildcats as they ended the season for the fifth-seeded Jefferson County High School Tigers, who were hoping that being the host school would give them the home-court advantage.

Instead, the Wildcats defeated the Tigers 59-48 to advance to the boys’ semifinals. Wilkinson County will face off with No. 1 seed Port Gibson High School today at 5:30 p.m.

Cathedral boys, ACCS girls eliminated from MAIS Class 4A South State Tournament (Tues.)

AMITE, La. — It was a rough Tuesday afternoon for both the Cathedral High School Green Wave and the Adams County Christian School Lady Rebels as they saw their seasons come to an end against the Simpson Academy Cougars and Lady Cougars, respectively, in the first round of the 2020 MAIS Class 4A South State Tournament at Oak Forest Academy.

Despite winning just two games this season, the ACCS Lady Rebels entered the tournament as the District 4-4A No. 4 seed. And for winning a tiebreaker with Cathedral to earn that spot, their opening-round opponent was one of the top teams in all of the MAIS and the best team in all of Class 4A in the District 3 No. 1 seed Simpson Academy Lady Cougars.

The Lady Cougars showed how good they are with a dominating first half en route to a 68-15 win over the Lady Rebels.

Simpson Academy, the No. 2 team in the girls’ MAIS Top 5 in one statewide poll, took a double-digit lead before the first quarter was over and led ACCS 26-7 by quarter’s end. The Lady Cougars would then outscore the Lady Rebels 21-3 in the second quarter for a 47-10 halftime lead.

Drue Boyd finished with six points and Halle Peterman had four points to lead the Lady Rebels, who finished with an overall record of 2-21.

The Cathedral Green Wave had no answer for Simpson Academy’s Joe Berry, who led all scorers with 25 points as the District 3 No. 1 seed Cougars rolled to a 69-33 win in a boys’ first-round match-up.

Berry scored eight points in the first quarter and nine points in the third quarter, when he had his only made 3-pointer of the game. Warner Watkins added 13 points for Simpson Academy (28-6), ranked No. 4 in the boys’ MAIS Top 5 rankings in one statewide poll.

The Cougars raced out to a 23-12 lead over Cathedral by the end of the first quarter. The second quarter featured more defense, but the Green Wave could only muster seven points and went into halftime down 37-19.

Christian Wright led Cathedral with 11 points, but 10 of those were in the first half. Kaden Batieste finished with seven points, but was held scoreless in the second half. The Green Wave finished its season with an overall record of 12-16.

Centreville Academy boys eliminated from Class 2A South State Tournament (Tues.)

GREENVILLE — The Centreville Academy Tigers, the District 3 No. 4 seed, loss a close game to the District 5 No. 4 seed Claiborne Academy Rebels 49-44 Tuesday night in the first round of the 2020 MAIS Class 2A South State Tournament at Greenville Christian School.

With the loss, the Tigers saw their season come to an end.

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