Bulldogs roll in final 2-3A game over Tigers

NETTLETON – With a possible rematch looming with Mooreville in less than a week, Aberdeen coach Roy Hazzle needed his Bulldogs firing on all cylinders to close out division play in the regular season.

Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal Aberdeen's Tomyze Buchanan and Nettleton's Demetrius Thomas go up for the opening tipoff on Friday at Nettleton.

Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
Aberdeen’s Tomyze Buchanan and Nettleton’s Demetrius Thomas go up for the opening tipoff on Friday at Nettleton.

They did just that on Friday night, topping Nettleton 71-36 and moving to 4-1 in Divison 2-3A play, with their only loss being in overtime to the Troopers, who are ranked the top 3A team.
“We know it’s getting close to tournament time, and we want to get all cylinders working. We’ve got to keep getting better, keep wanting it and keep staying hungry and focused. Those are the things we’re stressing,” Hazzle said.
A 3-pointer from Nettleton’s Demetrius Thomas tied things at 7-all early in the first quarter, but shots from Justin Lucas, Ken McCoy and Marcus Carothers gave Aberdeen a double-digit lead at 25-14 to close out the first. Six straight points from Rico Haughton stretched the lead out to 15, and a 6-0 run at the end of the second gave the Bulldogs a 46-22 lead going into the break.
“Our young guys are responding right now. We’re making some mistakes, but our hustle overcomes a lot of it,” Hazzle said.
Haughton led the way with 15 points for Aberdeen, while Jakeese Walker scored 14. Thomas, Nettleton’s lone senior who was honored pregame, led the Tigers with 13 points.
Aberdeen dropped its final game of the regular season, a 68-63 loss to Starkville, but Hazzle said he likes closing the season with a challenging game.
“We were wanting that to be our measuring stick to get into the tournament. Last year we didn’t play that kind of game before the tournament started, and it kind of hurt us,” Hazzle said. “We need that pressure put on us and that intensity that a good opposing team is going to give to us.”
The Bulldogs play their first game of the 2-3A tournament on Thursday against the winner of the Water Valley/Mantachie first round game.

(G) Nettleton 72, Aberdeen 26
The Lady Tigers had four in double figures led by Meredith Lee with 14 points. Jabria Pounds scored 13, while Coco Whitfield (11) and Jayla Jones (10) also scored in double digits. Alexis Walker led Aberdeen with 5 points.