By David Wheeler/Special to the Journal
TUPELO – The 2013 Tupelo Golden Wave got their first lesson of the young season Saturday.
The potential is there for the inexperienced Wave, but the DeSoto Central Jaguars got the better of the season opener for both squads, defeating Tupelo 70-67 in late action at the Carlock Tip-Off Classic.
“The team tried to do what I asked them to do,” said Tupelo’s Jeff Norwood, making his head coaching debut at the school he use to play. “We conducted ourselves well, and played hard, and that was two of my goals. But we didn’t handle success well.”
Falling behind in the second quarter, Tupelo was successful at climbing out of a 13-point hole for a 65- 64 lead with 1 minute, 37 seconds to play on an Antonio Green steal and dunk.
The Wave also lead 67-66 with :06 remaining after two free throws by Sean Watkins. But off the bench for DeSoto Central, a team that went 29-2 a season ago, Nathan Turner made six free throws in-a-row in the final 1:21 to lift the visitors to the victory. Turner ended up with 29 points
“In a losing effort, I feel good about our chances,” Norwood said. “I feel better about what we can be.”
Green paced the Tupelo offense with 20. Tupelo led 18-15 after the first quarter, but trailed 32-23 at the half.
(G) TUPELO 58, DESOTO CENTRAL
47: The Lady Wave rallied
from a 15-point deficit
to claim a season-opening
win. Sophomore Jaleigha
Polk scored 19 for Tupelo.