By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
WINONA – When Aberdeen senior Earnest Williams snatched a rebound and gently laid it backwards through the net, Winona might have gotten a clue of what the night was to bring.
The Williams bucket put the Bulldogs ahead 27-11 at the first-quarter buzzer and it only got worse for the Division 2-3A Tournament hosts.
In a game that ended with 2.1 seconds on the clock, Aberdeen won its 21st straight and improved to 25-2 with a 111-34 blowout of Winona Friday.
The win solidified a home game in Tuesday’s North Mississippi Class 3A Tournament and put the Bulldogs in tonight’s championship game against Water Valley (16-9), a 51-47 winner against Mooreville.
Officials called the game after two straight intentional fouls against Winona (13-11).
“I thought we played real good defense. We executed well when we had to,” said retiring Aberdeen coach Roy Hazzle. “We had fun out there.”
Winona had no answer for Aberdeen’s transition game. Aberdeen, going three deep from the bench in the first half, outscored Winona 35-2 in the third and led 92-26.
Rico Haughton and Williams had 18 apiece for dunk-happy Aberdeen. Fred Ward had 13 as all 14 Bulldogs scored.
Matthew Everett had 11 points to lead Winona.
It’s not the current streak that Hazzle said his team is concerned about. It’s the postseason streak that he wants to end in Jackson. He is placing a lot of importance on a division crown first though.
“Eight wins without losing will get us a crown,” Hazzle said. “It’s very important to win a (division) title. You go in it to win it.amp”
– (G) Nettleton 60, Winona 59: With three starters fouled out, including leading scorer Camry Jones, Nettleton got a driving layin from Lavontra Hall with 5 seconds to play and advanced to tonight’s championship game against Water Valley, a 53-52 winner against South Pontotoc, at 7 p.m.
South (17-11) will face Winona (12-12) in the consolation game at 4 p.m.
Hall had 16 points, Jones 11, Shauntina Collier and Jabria Pounds 10 each for Nettleton (17-8). Alexus Flowers had 30 points for Winona.