Natchez High hoops teams get swept at Florence; Bulldogs drop to 2nd in Region 5-5A

Published 3:29 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2023

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FLORENCE — The Natchez High School Bulldogs were looking to take over sole possession of first place in MHSAA Region 5-5A as they hit the road to take on the Florence High School Eagles last Tuesday night.

Both teams entered the game at 3-1 in region play, but Natchez High already defeated Florence on the Bulldogs’ home court just a week earlier. However, on this night, the Eagles got a measure of revenge as they defeated the Bulldogs 65-46.

“That puts us in second place in district,” Bulldogs head coach David Haywood said. “We didn’t play a bad game. We missed too many free throws. Good atmosphere. I think both teams knew what at stake and that was the No. 1 seed in (region) play.”

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And it was a physical game to boot. Both teams found themselves in 1-and-1 situations at the end of the first quarter, meaning they would be shooting free throws the entire second quarter when a foul was called.

That same circumstance for both Natchez High and Florence took place with about two minutes remaining in the third quarter. The big difference was that the Eagles made their free throws and the Bulldogs kept missing — a lot.

“Both teams came out and played extremely hard. They made their free throws and we missed something like 13, 14 free throws. I think that was the biggest difference in the game,” Haywood said. “They were going to line and were making theirs. We were going to the line and missing ours.”

Kameron Carter led Natchez High with 18 points and Daylan Haywood finished with 14 points. The Bulldogs (15-8, 3-2) plays host to Region 5-5A rival Brookhaven High School for Senior Night with tip-off slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Florence girls 66, Natchez High 36

FLORENCE — The Florence High School Lady Eagles took care of the Natchez High School Lady Bulldogs 66-36 last Tuesday night in an MHSAA Region 5-5A game. No other information on the game was available.

“I think that we played hard, but we made some key mistakes that cost us in the end. And we missed 15 out of 25 free throws,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Alphaka Moore said. “We were able to beat them the first time. The second time, they came out with more intensity and we didn’t match their intensity level.”

The Lady Bulldogs (12-11, 1-4) hosts Region 5-5A foe Brookhaven High School for Senior Night to finish out their regular season at 6 p.m. Friday.