MOOREVILLE – It may truly be difficult to beat a team multiple times in a season. For the third time this season, Nettleton defeated Mooreville, Wednesday evening in a 70-60 win to claim the Mooreville Tournament championship.
Nettleton won the girls championship as well with a 63-48 win against Mooreville.
It was less than simple this time for the Tigers. The first two wins came by a combined 68 points.
“Mooreville stayed right in there and scrapped the whole ballgame,” said Nettleton coach Grant Gardner. “Our guys made some tough buckets at the end and persevered, because it was an ugly, ugly ballgame from every aspect, I mean every aspect.”
Not thrilled with several calls, Gardner watched his 14-1 Tigers stave off a Mooreville rally that cut a 35-21 halftime lead to 11 points multiple times in the second half and down to 67-58 in the final 90 seconds.
In the third, Gaston Westmoreland’s bucket cut Nettleton’s lead to nine points, but two Blake Birks 3-pointers from the left wing kept Nettleton ahead by double digits entering the fourth period, 53-42. Birks had his team ahead 53-39, but Jesus Solis answered one trey with his own to end the period for Mooreville.
The four teams will meet for the fourth time Thursday in the Lee County Tournament.
Mooreville coach Jeff Tally said he was pleased with the way his team finished.
“This is the third time we’ve played them and maybe they were taking us a little bit light,” he said. “They’ve got an excellent team and I was pleased with the way we played. We played hard. We made some turnovers I thought that hurt us, but I was pleased with it.”
Brandon Jamison had a game-high 22 points for the Tigers. Birks hit 20 in the win. For Mooreville (3-10), Westmoreland had 15, Quadzing Rogers 15 and Solis 14.
“I thought Mooreville had a lot more effort than we did,” Gardner said. “I think that comes from we had already beaten them twice and thought they were going to lay down. Nobody’s going to lay down in their own tournament. They’re in the finals for a reason and our guys didn’t match their intensity, for whatever reason. Hopefully Thursday that problem will be fixed.”
Lady Tigers take control
Nettleton’s Lady Tigers (12-2) opened the game with a 23-7 run against Mooreville in the championship.
Mooreville cut the lead to 24-13, but Lavontra Clark scored all 10 of her points in the second period to push the lead to 40-17 at the half.
Camry Jones scored a game-high 22 for Nettleton and Amanda Adams added another 10. Katie Cobb led Mooreville with 10 points.
Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal