By David Wheeler
Special to the Journal
ABERDEEN – The Tupelo Golden Wave have used a variety of formulas to find success this season.
Against Hernando on Friday, it was the more veteran players.
Against the athletic Aberdeen Bulldogs on Saturday, it was a youth movement.
Sophomore Eric Fuller bagged 15 points to pace a balanced Tupelo offense, holding off Aberdeen 58-47.
“This was a good win, and I think both our units played a part in that,” Wave head coach Jeff Norwood said. “Our young guys came in and played together, and allowed us to get away from Aberdeen on the scoreboard.”
Aggressive defense by both squads contributed to a low scoring first quarter, when a free throw and basket by Marcus Carouthers helped Aberdeen (10-6) to a 7-4 lead.
Norwood ran a completely new five to begin the second quarter, and sophomore Tristan Upchurch’s 3-pointer to begin the period helped Tupelo (9-7) increase its lead. Fuller tallied four field goals in the period for Tupelo, and Antonio Green’s rebound and basket at the halftime buzzer pushed the Wave to a 28-21 lead.
“I think we just came out flat,” Aberdeen first year head coach Cornelius Gillelyen said. “We’ve got to do a better job executing on the offensive and defensive end, and that was our lowest point total all year.”
Tupelo played patient in the third quarter, closing late in the period on a 7-0 run on baskets by Fuller, Tre Long, and Trey Jenkins for a 43-33 lead.
A pair of 3-pointers by Easton Upchurch helped the Wave push their advantage to as much as 50-35 in the final period. Aberdeen closed to within 56-47 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Terrell Carouthers and Marcus Carouthers with 1:49 left, but it was too little, too late.
“We’re just trying to look to get going as a team,” Norwood said. “The younger group made a bunch of plays for us.
“We have a chance to win three in-a-row now, but we couldn’t do that if we didn’t win tonight.”
Tupelo is back in action Tuesday at South Panola in a Division 2-6A game.
(G) Tupelo 76, Aberdeen 10: The Lady Wave (15-1) clamped down defensively and rolled to the victory. Tupelo did not allow an Aberdeen field goal until the 25-second mark of the second quarter.
Senior Bre Jernighan and junior Marqueesha Hoskins each scored 14 points to pace the Lady Wave offense. Tupelo led 43-8 at the half.