Bulldogs edge past Florence to remain undefeated in Region 3-5A; Lady Bulldogs fall to Lady Eagles

Published 12:21 pm Monday, January 8, 2024

NATCHEZ — Natchez High School managed to split with Florence High School in MHSAA Region 3-5A action last Friday night at the Mary Jean Irving Memorial Gymnasium on the Natchez High campus thanks to the Bulldogs’ 42-37 victory over the Eagles.

Senior guard/small forward Presten Jackson led the Bulldogs with 11 points. Head coach David Haywood said the scoring was pretty spread out among his players and that defense was a key factor in the team’s win.

“I think our guys played really hard on defense. We had some opportunities on offense that we missed out on,” Haywood said. “That night wasn’t a great shooting night for us. We had to rely on our defense. That allowed us to come away with the win.”

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The Bulldogs improved to 12-5 overall and 2-0 in Region 3-5A. They traveled to Jackson to take on region newcomer Provine High School at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Florence girls 56, Natchez High 38

NATCHEZ — Florence High School junior center Starr Amos, was a force in the paint for the Lady Eagles as the 6-2 post player finished with a game-high 22 points as they defeated the Natchez High School Lady Bulldogs 56-38 last Friday night in an MHSAA Region 3-5A showdown.

Florence junior guard Ariana Barnes was the only other player to score in double figures as she chipped in with 10 points.

After a back-and-forth first quarter ended in an 11-11 tie, Florence pulled away by outscoring Natchez High 13-4 in the second quarter for a 24-15 halftime lead and 18-9 in the third quarter for a commanding 42-24 advantage.

Lady Bulldogs head coach Alphaka Moore said it wasn’t anything the Lady Eagles did defensively that allowed them to take over the game. It was that her team had a hard time getting shots to fall from the field.

“That was simply not a good game for us. As a team, we struggled from the field. I do expect us to play much better the next game,” Moore said. “We definitely struggled scoring in that second half (and the second quarter). That was just something going on with our team that night that caused us to struggle.”

Hope Gutter led Natchez High with 11 points while Cylenthia Reed added six points. Faith Gutter and Zamonie Wilson each contributed with five points.

The Lady Bulldogs fell to 12-5 overall and 1-1 in region play. They next played at Region 3-5A newcomer Provine High School in Jackson at 6 p.m. Tuesday.