Bulldogs use big fourth quarter to beat West Jones; Lady Bulldogs fall to Lady Mustangs

Published 11:17 am Monday, January 16, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The Natchez High School Bulldogs bounced back from a tough loss at Brookhaven High School last Tuesday night with a 51-44 comeback win over the West Jones High School Mustangs last Friday night in an MHSAA Region 5-5A game.

Natchez High senior guard Kameron Carter, whom Bulldogs head coach David Haywood said was somehow snubbed from being selected to play in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game, led the way with a game-high 16 points.

Senior post player Elvis Jenkins added 11 points and senior shooting guard Javeon Walker chipped in with nine points.

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Haywood said the defense has been there for Natchez High in recent games, but the Bulldogs have not been able to finish on the offensive end – especially in the fourth quarter. But that was not the case last Friday night as they turned a three-point deficit against West Jones into a seven-point victory after outscoring the Mustangs 16-6 in the final eight minutes.

“Intensity. Our intensity on defense carried over to the offensive end. We were able to get stops,” Haywood said. “Fourth quarter the last game, we were able to pick things up and share the ball. We were able to get offense off our defensive intensity.”

Haywood noted that against Brookhaven last Tuesday night, the Bulldogs stopped the Panthers 17 times out of 21 chances, but their offense bogged down and they couldn’t get any shots to fall. Just the opposite on the offensive end took place against West Jones.

The first three quarters of the game went back and forth between the two teams. Natchez High led West Jones 15-11 after one quarter of play, but the Mustangs responded by outscoring the Bulldogs 12-9 in the second quarter to go into halftime down just one point, 24-23. West Jones looked like it was prime for a big road win in region play after outscoring Natchez High 15-11 in the third quarter for a 38-35 lead. That was until the fourth quarter happened.

“Our (region), all the boys’ team are evenly matched. You have to counter their run with one of your own,” Haywood said. “The team that was most consistent was going to win the game. Our fourth quarter was our strongest quarter.”

As for Carter’s performance, Haywood said, “Kameron is really getting into a full swing of things. He is definitely a game-changing player on offense and defense when he is in tune. I definitely think he is one of the top 12, 13 players in the state of Mississippi. I think he got snubbed. But we’ve got bigger fish to fry in winning the district and making a deep playoff run.”

The win put Natchez High at 13-7 overall and 1-1 in Region 5-5A. The Bulldogs played host to Florence High School at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in a key region game for the home team.

“We have a chance to be tied for first place if we win against Florence,” Haywood said.

West Jones girls 55, Natchez High 32

NATCHEZ — The West Jones High School Lady Mustangs got off to a surprisingly slow start, but their defense allowed them to pull away for a 55-32 win over the Natchez High School Lady Bulldogs in MHSAA Region 5-5A action last Friday night.

West Jones (18-2, 3-0) led Natchez High by only one point, 11-10, at the end of the first quarter. The upset-minded Lady Bulldogs tried to keep pace with the Lady Mustangs and were only down by six points, 25-19, at halftime.

However, the Lady Mustangs put away any thoughts of an upset by outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 13-4 in the third quarter and 17-9 in the fourth quarter.

Natchez High fell to 11-9 overall and 0-2 in Region 5-5A. The Lady Bulldogs looked to pick up their first win in region play when they hosted Florence High School at 6 p.m. Tuesday.