By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – There should be a warning sign posted outside Tupelo High’s gym that reads: Deeper Wave This Year.
Tupelo, led by Antonio Green with 12 points and Isaiah Traylor with 11, used a lethal balanced scoring attack Tuesday to defeat New Albany 72-55 in a non-division game.
The Golden Wave (17-10) saw 12 players score against the visiting Bulldogs.
“There’s not a lot of difference in some of our players,” Golden Wave first-year head coach Jeff Norwood said. “I’m trying to play a lot of them more. I think that’s our best chance of being successful at the end of the year.”
Tupelo used two runs to build large leads in the first half. The last one was a 14-4 spurt that began with a Green 3-pointer and ended on a 3-pointer by Traylor. The final trey gave the Golden Wave a 38-22 halftime advantage.
New Albany (14-12) got 13 points from point guard Eric Chaney in the first half. He was held scoreless in the second half.
The Golden Wave opened the second half like to closed the first, scoring from the perimeter – back-to-back Traylor 3s early on – and on the inside – buckets in the paint by Green, Tristan Upchurch and Alex Foster.
Tupelo took a 54-36 lead into the fourth quarter.
“I challenged them to come out and play harder than we had played in the first half,” Norwood said. “Sometimes we don’t play as smart as we need, but I think if we play hard, and use our numbers, we have a chance to win.”
Bernard Spight added 10 points for New Albany.
Tupelo closes its regular season Friday at Corinth. The Golden Wave and Lady Wave will play South Panola on Tuesday in the semifinals of the Division 2-6A tournament in Batesville.
(G) Tupelo 65, New Albany 37: Jaleigha Polk and Marqueesha Hoskins scored 14 points apiece while Casey Marshall added 13 to lead the Lady Wave (18-9).
New Albany (18-6) played without all-state guard Jazmine Spears, who averages 31 points per game.
“We set the tempo early and did what we wanted to do,” Tupelo coach Matt Justice said. “We wanted to come out with a solid win.”