Natchez’s upset bid falls short against Vicksburg

Published 1:06 am Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NATCHEZ — Three days before taking on No. 1 and undefeated Wingfield in a critical Division 6-6A game, the Natchez High Bulldogs had a tough task Tuesday night as they took on the third-ranked Vicksburg Gators.

Natchez High had the lead for much of the second half, but two free throws by Kienta Ross after he grabbed a rebound off a missed free throw in the closing seconds allowed Vicksburg to escape with a 54-53 victory.

Natchez High assistant coach David Haywood pointed to a few things that the Bulldogs were not able to do that otherwise would have given them not only a huge upset win, but also some momentum going into Friday night’s game at Wingfield.

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“The turning point was we missed a couple of free throws we should’ve made and a couple of lay-ups we should’ve made that would have put the game away,” Haywood said. “We didn’t block out and (Ross) got the rebound and made two free throws to put them up one.”

The first half went back and forth between the two teams. Natchez High led Vicksburg 16-11 after one quarter of play, but the Gators responded by outscoring the Bulldogs 15-6 in the second quarter for a 26-22 halftime lead.

Natchez High’s aggressive defense forced Vicksburg to turn the ball over several times in the third quarter, which led to easy dunks and lay-ups for the Bulldogs. They put up 21 points while holding the Gators to just 11 points for a 43-37 lead.

Then Vicksburg started trapping some in the fourth quarter, but Haywood said that is not what allowed the Gators to get back in the game. They ended up outscoring the Bulldogs 17-10 in the final eight minutes.

“We had a couple of travels on us and they made a couple of quick shots,” Haywood said. “Their trap didn’t bother us.”

Kelli Puckett led Natchez High (14-9) with 14 points while Jeremy McMorris had 11 points and Trevon Chatman added 10 points. Vicksburg (21-2) was led by Kelsey Howard with 18 points and Mychal Ammons with 17 points.

As to how this game would prepare Natchez High for its game against Wingfield, Haywood said, “That’s the kind of game it’s going to be. They played hard all game. Defense wise, you take the No. (3) team and hold them 10 points under their average, you have a chance to win. The last nine or 10 games, they’ve been playing extremely hard.”

Vidalia 92, Bunkie 55

VIDALIA — A big third quarter by the No. 2 ranked team in Class 3A was exactly what Vidalia needed to pull away from a pesky Bunkie team as the Vikings defeated the Panthers Tuesday night to remain undefeated in District 3-3A.

Despite being a heavy underdog, Bunkie hung tough with Vidalia in the first half and trailed by just seven points at halftime. But any thoughts of an upset quickly vanished when the third quarter got under way.

Vidalia’s defense put the clamps on Bunkie as the Vikings held the Panthers to just nine points. On the other end of the court, Vidalia could not be stopped or even contained en route to a 35-point in that quarter to open up a 75-42 lead.

Torrey Dixon scored 31 points and pulled down over 20 rebounds while Quartrell Thomas put up 22 points, Gary Stewart had 17 points and D.J. Polk added 15 points for the Vikings, who improved to 20-4 overall and 6-0 in district play. Dequartis McGlory led Bunkie with 27 points.

Jefferson County 72, Tylertown 48

FAYETTE — Terry Tenner had a game-high 17 points and Chemenski Tenner scored 14 points to lead four Jefferson County players in double figures as the Tigers defeated the Tylertown Chiefs Tuesday night to remain undefeated in Region 7-3A.

The big story of this game was that Davion Noble had to leave the game in the second quarter after taking an elbow above the eye and required several stitches and did not return. He had 10 points before the injury.

Jefferson County (11-9, 7-0) dominated Tylertown on both ends of the court in the first half. After one quarter of play, the Tigers led 25-8 and by halftime they enjoyed a 45-17 lead. They also got 12 points from Richard Myles Jr.

Tylertown was led by J. Jackson and R. Anderson with 12 points apiece.

Tensas Academy 46, Huntington 42

FERRIDAY — Down 11 points after three quarters of play, Huntington nearly pulled off an amazing rally only to run out of time as Tensas Academy held on for a four-point win in MAIS District 6-A action Tuesday night.

The Chiefs broke open a tie ball game at the end of the first quarter by outscoring the Hounds 12-5 in the second quarter. They continued to add to their lead in the third quarter and led 36-25 at the end of the third quarter.

Led by Kevin Brown and Jess Dossett, Huntington tried its best to avenge Monday night’s loss at Tensas Academy. But the Hounds came up a little short and the Chiefs escaped with the win. Brown led all scorers with 20 points and Dossett had 14 points.

Tensas Academy (8-10, 5-4) was led by Austin Emfinger with 13 points and Jon Truman James and Josh Sikes with 11 points each. Huntington dropped to 3-6 in district play.

Monterey 66, Oak Hill 40

MONTEREY, La. — Four Monterey players scored in double figures Tuesday night as the Wolves easily defeated the Oak Hill Rams Tuesday night for their first win in District 6-B this season.

Monterey opened up a close game with a 15-6 advantage over Oak Hill in the second quarter that gave the Wolves a 32-17 lead at halftime. By the time the third quarter was over, they had a 27-point lead.

Josh Chatman scored 18 points while Jacob Evans had 13 points and Nick Blake and Ethan Cannon added 12 points apiece for the Wolves (14-10, 1-2).

Jena 65, Ferriday 56

JENA, La. — In a seesaw battle between Jena and Ferriday Tuesday night, the Giants stood tall in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Trojans 23-13 for the nine-point win.

Jena led Ferriday by five points at halftime before the Trojans used a 15-9 advantage in the third quarter to take a 43-42 lead. But the Giants quickly regained their momentum early in the fourth quarter and pulled away from the Trojans.

Richard Jefferson led Ferriday (2-19) with a game-high 19 points and Markell Bell chipped in with 11 points. Jena was led by Ahmad Richardson and Pakey Ryan with 18 points each.