Natchez is 1-1, still alive in Hattiesburg Tournament

Published 12:00 pm Friday, December 30, 2022

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HATTIESBURG — Just like in recent weeks before the Christmas holiday, it has been an up-and-down couple of days so far this week for Natchez High School’s varsity basketball teams at the Hattiesburg Holiday Tournament.

But both the Lady Bulldogs and the Bulldogs had an opportunity on Friday to finish the double-elimination tournament out with some much-needed momentum on their sides.

The Natchez High Lady Bulldogs got off to a good start last Wednesday morning as they held on for a 45-41 win over the Pearl High School Lady Pirates to snap a two-game losing streak.

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Unfortunately for the Lady Bulldogs, they couldn’t keep the momentum going as they fell to the Heidelberg High School Lady Oilers 53-19.

The Lady Bulldogs’ record went to 9-6 overall before they take on the Terry High School Lady Bulldogs at 3 p.m. Friday.

The Natchez High Bulldogs tried their best to pull off the upset of the undefeated Horn Lake High School Eagles, the No. 1 team in all of MHSAA Class 6A. 

However, Natchez High’s quest for a signature win with region play approaching would come up short as it lost to Horn Lake 77-60.

“That was a good game. Horn Lake’s got some good players. We’ve got some good players,” Bulldogs head coach David Haywood said. “One of our players was out with a stomach bug and he’s our leading rebounder.”

Haywood added that not having that big of a difference-maker down low to clean up the boards was the deciding factor in the outcome of that game.

“The difference was they got rebounds at timely moments,” Haywood said. “It was a seven- or nine-point game in the fourth quarter. We were trying to play a faster pace to create turnovers. We missed a few shots at the end and we ended up having to foul them. They made their free throws to stretch it out to 17 points.”

Even though Horn Lake led from beginning to end, Natchez High kept the game within reach for most of the game. But the Bulldogs didn’t have enough to get over the hump.

The Bulldogs rebounded last Thursday morning with a convincing 67-46 win over the Jefferson Davis County High School Jaguars.

That win put Natchez High’s record at 10-5 overall. The Bulldogs take on Yazoo County High School at 3 p.m.