By David Wheeler/Special to the Journal
TUPELO – On the whole, Jeff Norwood was not pleased with the overall execution of the Tupelo Golden Wave on Monday night.
Still, chalk up a win for the first-year head coach and his boys team.
Tupelo entered the Thanksgiving holiday with a strong second-half showing, and a 64-49 victory over the Neshoba Central Rockets.
“This was not exactly what I wanted from this game,” Norwood said. “But I’m happy they guys did what they needed to do to pull out the win.”
What the Wave (4-2) needed was to overcome a sluggish first half, which saw Neshoba (2-4) clinging to a 23-22 lead at intermission. With good focus on its defensive pressure the entire court, Tupelo did just that.
Sean Watkins keyed an early third quarter 13-1 run with a pair of baskets. The run was capped by an Antonio Green 3-pointer, and the Wave held a 35-26 lead.
Rockets fight back
Neshoba fought back pulling within 45-40 in the fourth period on free throws by Gary Willis. But Green deftly maneuvered for two layups to halt the Rockets’ momentum.
Those Green baskets keyed a 11-0 run that also featured a pair of baskets by Jordan Garmon.
Green paced Tupelo with 21 points.
The Wave play again Saturday against Lanier at Forest Hill.
(G) Neshoba Central 53, Tupelo 51 (OT): After moving to a 16-7 first quarter lead, the Lady Wave (4-2) let the Lady Rockets (5-1) worked their way back into the contest.
Neshoba held a 46-42 in regulation with less than a minute to play, only to have Casey Marshall hit two free throws, then Braxton Thomas bank in a shot at the buzzer to send the contest into overtime.
Thomas paced the Lady Wave with 12 points.
The Lady Wave are in action again on Nov. 27, hosting Pontotoc.