North Pontotoc Vikings suffer first defeat

By David Wheeler/Special to the NEMS Daily Journal

PONTOTOC – The North Pontotoc Vikings were eliminated from the ranks of the unbeaten on Monday night.
With feeling, by county rival Pontotoc.
Using a scoring spurt that carried between halves, the Warriors handed the Vikings their first loss of the season in convincing fashion, 82-58.
“This win means a lot to us, especially against a county rival that was 10-0,” first-year Pontotoc head coach Chris Vandiver said. “We just hit shots and rebounded well.
“I think we’ve played a brutal schedule, and like to think we’re better than our record shows.”
There had been four lead changes in the first half, with a Murphy Daniel basket pulling North Pontotoc (10-1) within 26-25. But beginning with a Trei Freeman driving layup, Pontotoc (6-5) reeled off a 13-0 that carried into the third quarter, capped by a Freeman steal and basket for a 39-25 lead.
North Pontotoc never recovered.
With a pair of 3-pointers by Freeman, and the inside work of Marcus Reed and Anthony Townsend, Pontotoc built its margin to 61-39 entering the fourth quarter.
“We took about 9,000 jump shots, settling for everything we didn’t need to take,” North Pontotoc head coach Chris Pettit said. “This game grabs your attention, and will make us a better team.”
Freeman paced Pontotoc with 23 points, with Marcus Reed adding 21. Marcus Green hit 18 for North Pontotoc.
Of note, tonight’s New Albany at Pontotoc matchup might be rescheduled, with Pontotoc knowing by mid-morning.
(G) Pontotoc 79, North Pontotoc 47: The Lady Warriors (9-2) more than handled the size advantage of the Lady Vikings (9-3).
Pontotoc threw impressive runs of 11-0 in the first quarter, 14-0 in the second, and 17-0 to begin the third period.
Marlee Hatcher tossed in 26 to lead Pontotoc, with 6-foot-3 Chelsea Mabry hitting 14 for North Pontotoc.