By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Saltillo made its raucous student section happy Saturday on opening night with a 59-41 win against Nettleton in the Saltillo Tournament.
Brody Whitehead had a game-high 20 points for the host Tigers.
“I told the boys we had to jump on them quick and the kids responded well,” said Saltillo coach Craig Lauderdale. “We’re trying to change the attitude of Saltillo basketball. We’re trying to step it up a notch.”
Whitehead’s buzzerbeater made it 15-9 after a quarter. His three-point play early in the second quarter made it 18-9.
Nettleton stayed within striking distance for a while but Saltillo’s lead went to 32-16 on another Whitehead bucket. The senior had a big block in the fourth with an 11-point lead.
“We’ve been trying to get him to be a man and tonight he rose to the occasion,” Lauderdale said.
Nettleton (0-1) has had its football players back for five days. Saltillo is missing eight on the football team, including a starter. Those eight made the Class 5A playoffs and won’t be back for at least another week.
Tucker Wood added 10 points for Saltillo (1-0). Nettleton got 19 points from Santerius Walton.
“We’re young and inexperienced but we’re not totally invested right now,” said Nettleton coach Derrick Sharp. “I’m hoping that this teaches them a lesson.”
(G) SALTILLO 55 WALNUT 17: Brhea Mitchell had a gamehigh 16 points for the Lady Tigers (1-0) and Allie Moreland added 15. Morgan Burroughs had nine points for Walnut (0-1).