Lady Bulldogs roll past East Central in Class 5A girls’ first round

Published 1:06 pm Monday, February 19, 2024

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NATCHEZ — Caleah Kennedy led Natchez High School with a game-high 16 points and Roniya Ellis added 12 points as the Region 3-5A No. 2 seed Lady Bulldogs cruised to a 44-6 win over Region 4-5A No. 3 seed East Central High School last Friday night in the first round of the 2024 MHSAA Class 5A State Playoffs.

This game was over before the first quarter was over as East Central could not get any shots to fall at all. And that’s when they were to put shots up against an aggressive Natchez High defense. The Lady Bulldogs led the Lady Hornets 11-0 by the end of the quarter.

It was more of the same in the second quarter as the Lady Bulldogs outscored the Lady Hornets 9-2 for a commanding 20-2 halftime lead. And perhaps East Central was lucky that the score by that point was any more lopsided than it was.

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“It was a good team win. Different level of intensity going into the playoffs,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Alphaka Moore said. “Just stayed consistent.”

Natchez High outscored East Central 10-2 in the third quarter and 14-2 in the fourth quarter.

With the win, the Lady Bulldogs improved to 22-8 overall and will take on Region 4-5A No. 1 seed Laurel High School in the Class 5A girls’ quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville.

“That’s where the South (5A) quarterfinals are held,” Moore said. “I am looking forward to the next game.”

As for what the Lady Bulldogs will need to do to upset the 25-3 Lady Golden Tornadoes of Laurel High School, Moore said, “Just basically we’ll need to keep our intensity up like we did the last game and focus on what we do well.”