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Natchez High, Wingfield meet for fourth time

NATCHEZ — Natchez High plays against Wingfield High for the fourth time this season in the MHSAA Class 5A quarterfinal round on Saturday.

The last time the two teams played against each other was in the first round of the District 6 tournament. The Falcons won 60-58 over the Bulldogs and advanced to the District 6 championship.

David Haywood, head coach of Natchez High, said he compares facing Wingfield to playing a chest match.

“I make adjustments and their coach makes adjustments,” Haywood said. “I have to adjust to what he’s doing. The last couple of games came down to who possesses the ball last. We had an opportunity in the district tournament to send it into overtime but our pass was a little bit high and it sailed out of bounds.”

At stake for both teams on Saturday is a berth in the semifinal round against either Holmes County Central High School or Callaway High School.

“On offense, we have to make quality shots and be patient. If we have opportunities to make plays, then we have to make plays,” Haywood said. “We just have to execute on the defensive end, make stops and rebound the ball.”

In the regional round, Ke’Darius Stampley led the Bulldogs with 28 points and sank seven out of nine free throws. Stampley echoed Haywood and said the Bulldogs  (19-11) need their defense to earn a victory over the Falcons.

Another player to watch for Natchez High is James Singleton. Singleton was second on the Bulldogs squad with 24 points.

“I think everybody will be nervous but we’re going to work hard and try to win,” Singleton said. “We’re going to make a lot of defensive stops. A lot of times we have a breakdown on defense.”

Wingfield High (21-11) earned a 61-56 victory over Hattiesburg High Tigers. Deonta Griffin led the Falcons with 17 points. Haywood said the Bulldogs need to stop all Falcons’ players.

Tip off is at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Pearl River Community College.