By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
MOOREVILLE – Tied at 38 after three periods, it’s what the packed house wanted, another classic battle between rivals Nettleton and Aberdeen, for the Division 2-3A championship.
That’s what they got.
Tied at 40 after two shots in the fourth, Anthony McDonald scored six of eight straight Aberdeen points and the Bulldogs, ranked No. 4 in Class 3A by the Daily Journal, took home a 58-45 title win.
“It was hard fought and that’s what it’s all about. That let me know that we can play those tough games and come out on top,” Aberdeen coach Roy Hazzle said.
Both teams have secured home games, Aberdeen as a No. 1 seed, in the North Mississippi 3A Tournament, beginning Tuesday for the guys.
In Friday’s championship opener, Aberdeen’s Lady Bulldogs also beat Nettleton, 68-54.
With 3 minutes 28 seconds to play, Jeremy Roberts made good on a three-point play and the Bulldogs (16-11) took a 51-43 lead.
Aberdeen had an 8-0 run and a 7-0 run.
Nettleton took the first momentum of the fourth period when Odarius Lowe put the Tigers ahead 40-38.
No. 4 Nettleton (22-4) had three charging fouls to follow.
“That’s basically three turnovers,” Nettleton coach Grant Gardner said. “You not only lose a chance to score, you open yourself up to them capitalizing.”
Nettleton took early quarter momentum, but in front of a spirited blue and red crowd in Mooreville’s green-spattered gym, Aberdeen scored 20 of the next 25 points.
McDonald had 19 points for Aberdeen. Channing Ward had 10 points and 11 boards. Blake Birks led Nettleton with 15 points. Lowe finished with 13.
Nettleton had beaten Aberdeen in Nettleton last season for the division title.
(G) Aberdeen 68, Nettleton 54
For the second time this season, Aberdeen’s No. 2-ranked Lady Bulldogs beat Nettleton’s No. 3 Lady Tigers.
This time, 10 days after a regular season win in Aberdeen, the Lady Bulldogs (23-2) walked off the court with the Division 2-3A championship trophy.
“It’s one of those goals we set,” said Aberdeen coach Latorrence Bivens. “The home game is big.”
Aberdeen got 23 points from Jameika Hoskins and 12 from Regina Barker as the Lady Bulldogs led by as many as 22. Nettleton (20-5) got 22 points from Camry Jones, who missed much of the fourth period with leg cramps, and 19 from Memory Shumpert.
(G) Water Valley 55, So. Pontotoc 52
Trailing 51-48, back-to-back baskets from Lexie Wilson and Elizabeth Henson put South Pontotoc ahead 52-51, but C.C. Phillips scored underneath and Lakenda Bounds hit two free throws with 13 seconds left for Water Valley (8-14). Cortney Collums missed a desperation 3-pointer in the final seconds for the Lady Cougars (17-12).
(B) So. Pontotoc 36, Mooreville 29
Mooreville’s Gaston Westmoreland and Lipsey had 15 points each. Jermaine Bean hit 10 for the Cougars (17-12).