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Natchez boys get blown out

NATCHEZ — The Natchez High School boys’ basketball team fought hard in the third quarter to give itself a chance to keep its season alive.

The Bulldogs cut a 21-point halftime deficit to 11 to give themselves a chance in the final period. But Terry High School had too much firepower in the fourth quarter and ended Natchez’s season by a score of 77-50.

“We made too many mistakes,” Natchez assistant coach David Haywood said. “They were able to take advantage of our turnovers and get some easy baskets, and we missed a couple of easy ones.”

Natchez High School player DeArius Griffin, right, and Terry High School player Josh Washington stretch for the ball during the tipoff at the outset of the tournament game Tuesday evening at Natchez High School. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

Terry jumped out to a 21-12 lead over Natchez after one quarter. The visitors then outscored Natchez 23-11 in the second for a 44-23 halftime lead.

Terry was aggressive offensively and got to the free throw line. Terry outscored Natchez 27-4 from the foul stripe.

The visiting Bulldogs also forced a lot of turnovers with their full-court trap.

Natchez’s best play came in the third quarter. The Bulldogs held Terry to just eight points, and Dearius Griffin scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the period to give Natchez a chance.

But Terry’s balanced attack that saw 11 players score in the game was too much for Natchez.

Derrian Johnson netted 12 points for Natchez in his final game.

Haywood said the loss was tough for the four Bulldog seniors, but he saw this team improve this season.

“I think this team got better as the season went along,” he said. “From where we were in August to where we are now is definitely an improvement.”

NHS finished the season 12-12.

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