Northeast splits with Northwest-Shoals

ortheast Mississippi Community College men’s basketball team knew it was in for a physical contest with Northwest-Shoals (Ala.) Community College on Tuesday, December 14.
Both squads battled to the end with Northwest-Shoals escaping Booneville with a 101-100 decision over the Tigers.
Northeast and Northwest-Shoals had already met in the season opener for the Tigers with the Patriots taking an 86-75 decision in a physical game at the Patriot Arena in Phil Campbell, Ala.
In the women’s contest, Ricky Ford’s Lady Tigers atoned for a 104-88 setback in the season opener by knocking off the Lady Patriots 82-79.
In the nightcap, Northeast and Northwest-Shoals stayed even throughout the contest with the two teams knotting the game 16 times and seeing the lead change 22 times through out the 40-minute contest.
Northeast (3-7) controlled the offense but Northwest-Shoals stayed within striking distance of the Tigers battling back and forcing 14 of the 16 ties in the contest.
In a close game, Northeast was only able to gain a lead of seven points (88-81) when Calhoun City’s Charlie Easley converted on an old-fashioned, three-point play midway through the second half.
Northwest Shoals steadily chipped away at the lead cutting it to a one-possession game twice before finally tying the game a 94-all as Antwone Jackson laid in a deuce.
Northeast and Northwest-Shoals shared the lead down the stretch with Easley giving the host the largest lead of the final moments when the Northeast freshman slashed to the goal staking the Tigers to a 96-94 advantage
In the final moments, fans were treated to a flurry of action as the two teams tied four different times and the advantage swayed to each side.
Daniel Burton (Holly Springs) gave Northeast a 98-97 lead only to see Jackson come back and swish a pair of freebies to give Northwest-Shoals a 99-98 advantage a few second later.
Tyler Pritchard (Iuka) looked to give the Northeast the lead for good when the Tiger sophomore stepped to the line with just over 15 seconds remaining and knocked down a pair giving Northeast a 100-99 lead.
However, Northeast looked to stop Northwest-Shoals on its final drive to the hoop with 5.9 seconds to go but Marcus Hutchins was fouled along the baseline and sent to the line.
Hutchins rolled the first shot through to tie the game at 100-all and swished the second giving Northwest-Shoals a 101-100 lead with 2.0 seconds left in the game.
Northeast able to advance the ball to past halfcourt but couldn't get a desperation three-point try to fall.
On the night, Robert Wade (Nashville) and Jermaine Hollimon (Memphis) led the Tigers with 23 points apiece while Wade collected a double-double with 10 rebounds on the night.
In the opener, the Lady Tigers made sure there was no repeat of the season opener.
Northeast (4-5) raced out to a 9-0 lead on Northwest-Shoals before the Lady Patriots could get on the board with a Cratisha Jones three-pointer at the 17-minute mark.
Northeast watched as that nine-point lead quickly disappeared as the Lady Patriot offense found it’s rhythm and raced out to a 40-30 advantage late in the first half as Je’nae Strong knocked down a bucket.
Northeast cut the lead to six at the half as Belmont’s Anna Brooke Page tallied four of her game-high 25 in the final moments to send the game into the break at 40-34.
Just like in the first half, Ford’s troops got off to a hot start to begin the half outscoring the Lady Patriots 8-2 to start the period and knotted the game at 42-all on an Amber Johnson (Pine Grove) make.
Both teams shared the lead for the next ten minutes before Northeast was finally able to wear down the Northwest-Shoals defense.
After Northwest-Shoals’ Briana Walker converted on a pair at the line to tie the game at 64-all Northeast rallied on a make by Page and never looked back.
Page’s deuce gave the Lady Tigers a 66-64 advantage and a three-pointer by New Site’s Bree Harris quickly ballooned the lead to five.
Northwest-Shoals cut the lead to one on a Tamya Thompson make at the line but the Lady Tigers quickly pushed the lead back to five on a make by Jackson Southside’s Alex Hill and a Harris freebie.
Northeast caps its 2010 year as the Tigers and Lady Tigers head to Lynchburg, Tenn., to play Motlow State (Tenn.) Community College on Thursday, December 16 before taking time off for the holiday break. Tipoff at Motlow State is scheduled for 6 and 8 p.m.