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Natchez High falls to Wingfield High in quarterfinal round

POPLARVILLE— The Wingfield High School Falcons won 58-54 over Natchez High on Saturday in the MHSAA basketball quarterfinal round.

This season, Wingfield won three out of the four meetings against Natchez. The last two meetings were in tournament play.

David Haywood, Natchez High head boys’ basketball coach, said he knew the game was going to be a battle between the two teams.

“I told the team that no matter how far we got up or how far down, we have to stay consistent,” Haywood said. “I knew both teams were capable of making runs. If we went up by 10 points, then they were going to make a run and vice versa.”

In the first half, the Bulldogs committed seven turnovers and missed 10 layups. In comparison, the Falcons committed 10 turnovers in the first half.

Wingfield (22-11) held the Bulldogs to four points in the first quarter. Haywood said he attributed the Bulldogs’ lack of scoring to early jitters in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs went into halftime down by four points. Haywood said he reassured the Bulldogs to play their brand of basketball.

In comparison to the first quarter, Natchez (18-12) scored 16 points in the third quarter. Ke’Darius Stampley led the Bulldogs with eight points in the third quarter.

In the end, turnovers and losing the rebound battle doomed the Bulldogs to losing a spot to play in the semifinal round.

The Falcons out rebounded the Bulldogs, 25-18. Wingfield obtained 10 offensive rebounds in the game.   

Five Natchez High seniors ended their high school basketball careers on Saturday. Stampley, James Singleton and Ja’kel Barnes were three of the five seniors who scored in the game.

“These young men that will graduate this year are walking out of here ready to succeed in life,” Haywood said. “That’s the biggest thing of all. We teach them the fundamentals of life through basketball.”

Stampley led the Bulldogs with 19 points. Singleton finished with 18 points and Barnes scored six points.

“I’m going to miss every bit of it,” Stampley said. “I wish I could do it all over again so I could stay longer. I’m glad I came to this school. It was one of the best decisions of my life.”