Natchez falls to Jim Hill

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2001

JACKSON – The newly-designated No. 1 Natchez Bulldogs might not stay that way for long after losing to District 6-5A rival Jim Hill Tuesday 77-75 in overtime.

&uot;We came out slow tonight,&uot; said Natchez’s Ja’Kel Foster. &uot;Things just went Jim Hill’s way.&uot;

Natchez (21-3, 4-1) led at the end of every quarter until a late Tiger surge forced overtime.

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&uot;They had a lot of fast-break opportunities. We were lagging and couldn’t get down the floor,&uot; said the Bulldogs’ Vasshun Newborne, who led the team with 27 points. &uot;Our defense wasn’t up like it used to be and we weren’t getting down the floor.&uot;

Foster scored 18 points for Natchez, and Jamal Bouldin added 13.

&uot;(The loss) hurts, but I think everything happens for a reason,&uot; Newborne said. &uot;It’s coming down to playoff time, and all the teams are stepping up. We need to step it up, too.&uot;

Mario Joyner led the Tigers with 28 points, and Dakari Wallace added another 23.

The Bulldogs have a shot at redemption Friday when Natchez hosts No. 2 Lanier.

The Lady Bulldogs had an easier time with the Lady Tigers, winning 54-44.

&uot;It was pretty close, but we got it together at the end,&uot; said Natchez’s Angel Taylor, who led the team with 12 points.

Jim Hill led by one heading into the fourth quarter, but Natchez (14-7, 4-1) exploded for 22 points in the final period.

&uot;Our guards were really hustling,&uot; Taylor said. &uot;They got a couple steals and got us the ball in the paint. We got some easy lay-ups and that was that.&uot;