TUPELO – It was a clash of tempos Tuesday, the generally patient Pontotoc Warriors against the mostly fast-paced Tupelo Golden Wave.
The Wave imposed their will in the middle quarters of the contest, eventually running past the Warriors 85-57.
“With coach (Jon) Ginn, all his teams can control the tempo,” Tupelo coach Grant Pate said. “We tried to pick up our pace, and use our depth.”
The matchup was pretty even early, with an Adrian Potter basket giving Pontotoc (5-3) an 8-7 lead. Tupelo (6-2) responded with a 3-pointer by Deontaye Ewing, then closed the period with a 3-pointer by Dajon Reno for a 22-16 lead.
“It was a faster tempo than we needed it to be in the beginning,” Ginn said. “Then it got away from us in the second quarter.”
Three Rashon Coleman baskets highlighted an early 10-1 run by the Wave. Tupelo then continued to push the pace in the period, closing with a 9-0 run capped by a Chris Brooks dunk for a 41-23 Wave lead.
“Pontotoc does a good job changing defenses, and we were having to make adjustments as the game went on,” Pate said. “It took us a little while to get going.”
Tupelo came out of the halftime break still pushing, maxing out its lead in the third quarter at 58-35 on a lob and basket by Josh Hamilton.
But that Pontotoc patience persisted, and the Warriors actually were battling back into the fourth quarter. A Rashad Dixon 3-pointer cut the Tupelo lead to 65-61, but a trio of dunks by Brooks and Reno halted any Pontotoc comeback attempt.
“We got the tempo back … and cut it to 14 in the fourth,” Ginn said. “There’s something to learn from every game.”
Brooks paced a balanced Wave attack with 14 points, and Dixon led Pontotoc with 18.
Tupelo is in action again on Friday, hosting Oxford.
David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal