TUPELO – Anthony McDonald helped start things off for Aberdeen, then made two clutch free throws with 24.3 seconds to play to lead the Bulldogs to a much needed 63-60 win against Tupelo Tuesday night.
Class 3A Aberdeen (6-9) had lost four straight.
“I felt like if we could get this win, we could turn the corner,” Aberdeen coach Roy Hazzle said, “start making things happen for us. The kids played hard.”
Class 6A Tupelo (12-6) had two looks at a tie with less than 10 seconds to play, but Reed Clayton’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer fell short.
“It was a game of runs,” Tupelo coach Grant Pate said. “Aberdeen is well-coached and they do a good job. I’m proud of our guys for staying in there and getting a lead. We’ve just got to work on finishing.”
Channing Ward had a first period dunk and McDonald scored seven of his game-high 23 in the frame as Aberdeen led by as much as 36-23 on McDonald’s bucket in the second. Tupelo fought back though, taking a 49-48 lead on a Byrne Marshall free throw.
The Wave led 57-54 on Jeremy Foster’s fourth period two, but Rashad Pargo’s bucket and a McDonald 3 put Aberdeen ahead 59-58 with 3 minutes to play. Foster, who led Tupelo with 18 points pulled the Wave within 61-60, but McDonald sealed the win.
“We knew we were in for a tough game,” Hazzle said. “I like the way our kids responded. Tupelo got after us. That’s what I’m looking for from our young guys, give effort, play as a team and I thought they did that. They toughened up on the end with defense.”
Fred Ward had 13 for the Bulldogs. Pargo added 12. Deontaye Ewing hit 11 for Tupelo.
Lady Dogs break two-game skid
With her team trailing by two points and then tied in the fourth period, Aberdeen senior Jameika Hoskins missed four straight free throws.
She made up for it by scoring 14 of her game-high 26 points in the frame and 3A Aberdeen (11-2) broke a two-game losing streak and handed 6A Tupelo (12-6) its first home loss 56-46.
Trailing 27-23 at halftime, Tupelo tied the game at 36 on Aftan Goree’s 3-pointer at the third period buzzer.
“I let them know it was a 0-0 ballgame and asked them who wanted to go out there and play harder,” Aberdeen coach Latorrence Bivens said. “I charged my team and they stepped up and answered the charge.”
With Tupelo (9-5) scorer Amber Jackson scoring only four points, Dasia Mosely gave Tupelo its only lead of the second half at 38-36 to open the fourth.
Regina Barker put back an Aberdeen miss to begin a 10-0 run.
“I think we just laid down. I’m very disappointed right now,” said Tupelo coach Stephanie Murphy.
Hoskins scored four straight points and Barker and Dayana McGee finished the run before Mosely’s basket ended it with Aberdeen ahead 48-40. Hoskins’ putback with 1:06 to play gave the Lady Bulldogs their biggest lead at 54-40.
McGee had 10 points for Aberdeen. Mosely had 12 for Tupelo.
We got great play from our post players and it’s a plus when your guards step up,” said Bivens, whose team had lost two straight to Belmont and New Site.