Wave shrug off sluggish start to beat Rockets

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.

Click video to hear audio