Lady Dawgs perfect in Tupelo tournament

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Reese Neely defends the sideline run by Mooreville in Saturday’s match in the Tupelo Jamboree Tournament. Photo by Dennis Clayton.
BY DENNIS CLAYTON
TUPELO – New Albany had a great outing in the Tupelo Jamboree as they took wins of 7-0 over Mooreville and 4-2 over Grenada on Saturday. New Albany boys earned a split in their matches, defeating Mooreville 6-0 and losing to Starkville 5-1 in their second match.
“It was good to get some of these younger kids time on the field after the two tough contests with Lafayette and Saltillo,” New Albany coach Caryl Vogel said following the matches with Mooreville. “It gave us a chance to work on the things that we avoided in those games. Hopefully this will put us back on the right track and gives the kids a little bit of confidence going into the rest of the season.”
Sanders Goode put the Lady Bulldogs into the lead early in the Mooreville match with her goal in the 3rd minute and 12th minute.
Cynthia Betancourt followed those goals with her score in the 16th minute to put New Albany up 3-0. Kristen Olson scored the final goal of the half in the 25th minute to put the Lady Bulldogs up 4-0 at the half.
Due to time constraints, teams played 30 minute halves in the tournament, so when the teams came back from the half, Olson found net again in the 35 minute and again in the 42nd minute to complete the hat trick.
Betancourt closed the New Albany scoring with her goal in the 45 minute. Hannah Humphreys recorded the shutout in the goal for New Albany.
New Albany boys took a 2-0 lead at the half in their win over Mooreville as Zach McDonald scored in the 10th minute and Janis Hecker had a goal in the 19th minute.
The Bulldogs scored three goals in less than five minutes in the second half as Jack Hickey, Jesus Favela and Michael Sanchez netted goals.
Jose Favela scored the final goal for the Bulldogs to give the 6-0 final margin. Mason Chapin was in the goal for the New Albany shutout win.
New Albany girls got a first half goal from Kristen Olson in their second match of the day against Grenada and went into the half tied 1-1.
The Lady Bulldogs pulled away with three second half goals to take the win. Cynthia Betancourt had two goals and Sanders Goode had the other goal.
New Albany boys lone goal in the Starkville loss went to Zach McDonald and Wesley Dodds had the assist.

Saltillo takes pair of close wins over Bulldogs

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Caroline Mueller attempts to stop the Saltillo attack by Madison Hogue on Friday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.
BY DENNIS CLAYTON
NEW ALBANY – New Albany and Saltillo are perennial playoff participants in their respective 4A and 5A classes and Friday’s matches featured play between the two that would rival any playoff in intensity and action. Saltillo won both, 2-1 in the girls match and 3-1 in the boys.
“In the girls match we went down 2-0 at halftime, we keep putting ourselves in holes and it makes it difficult to come out,” New Albany coach Caryl Vogel said.”We have to learn how to play the first half of the game the way that we play the second half and I think we will have a better opportunity to win most of the games this season.”
The girls match was scoreless until Saltillo’s Madison Hogue scored in the 23rd minute off an assist from Peyton Scruggs to put the Lady Tigers up 1-0.
Hogue struck again for Saltillo in the 31st minute with her second goal of the match with Ashley Harmon getting the assist. The teams went to half with Saltillo leading 2-0.
New Albany’s defense shut down Hogue and her Lady Tigers in the second half and didn’t allow another score.
Sanders Goode scored for the New Albany in the 58th minunte to close the score at 2-1, but that would be all the scoring for the night for both teams as the defenses gained the upper-hand to prevent any further goals.
The boys match was only three minutes in when Connor Wade scored off an assist from Ian Huckaby to give Saltillo the early 1-0.
Huckaby put the Tigers up 2-0 in the 19th minute with his goal and that score held up for the first half of play.
Defenses for both teams held the opposing offenses in check for 25 minutes without a score in the second half until Saltillo went up 3-0 on Lance Crabtree’s goal and Bradley Witherspoon got the assist.
New Albany broke through and scored in the 75th minute on Grant Hogue’s goal to make it 3-1 and that was the final.
“The shots weren’t falling for us, plus we had a couple of key mental mistakes by our boys and a couple of giveaways on the back,” Vogel said. “Saltillo capitalized on their opportunities and we didn’t capitalize on ours. I don’t think our boys played a bad game, we just didn’t capitalize.”
“It was two good solid teams though, both Saltillo teams challenged for 5A North Half last year so it was good competition for boys and girls to play against,” Vogel said.

New Albany upends the Warriors in soccer

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Zach McDonald and Janis Hecker attack the Pontotoc defense. Photo by Dennis Clayton.
BY DENNIS CLAYTON
PONTOTOC – New Albany traveled to Pontotoc to face the Warriors in a non-division match up between 4A soccer powers and came away with a sweep. New Albany won the girls match 5-1 and the boys took a 7-2 win.
“I had a lot of kids to step up and finish some shots in the boys match and that’s always nice,” New Albany coach Caryl Vogel said. “It’s good to finally get a win over Pontotoc. I hate to let in two goals like we did, but we had a lot of good things come from this game.”
Grant Hogue put the Bulldogs on top with his goal in the fourth minute of the opening period and the Bulldogs held that narrow lead until Eduardo Zaragoza’s goal at the 24 minute mark to put New Albany up 2-0.
Janis Hecker followed with his goal in the 27th minute and Christian Rojas added a goal in the 35th minute to give the Bulldogs a comfortable 4-0 lead at the half.
“They (Pontotoc) came out and were dominating the first two minutes of play and we were on our heels,” Vogel said. “Zachary McDonald hit a ball in and Grant finished it and that was a big play for us. It calmed everybody down.”
Michael Sanchez put New Albany up 5-0 with his goal in the 50th minute. Eathen Rainey scored off the rebound of his penalty kick in the box to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 6-0.
Pontotoc scored to make the game 6-1, but Jack Hickey found the net to get New Albany’s final goal and up the lead to 7-1. Pontotoc scored just before the contest ended to reach the final of 7-2.
New Albany girls wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Kristen Olson fired a shot just outside the top of the box at the two minute mark for the 1-0 lead.
Sanders Goode scored the first of four goals in the 14th minute to extend the lead to 2-0. Good scored again at teh 24-minute mark with Martha Vance Alef getting the assist to give New Albany the 3-0 advantage.
Pontotoc scored to cut the lead to 3-1 with 31 minutes gone in the half and the Lady Bulldogs took that lead into halftime.
Goode scored her final two goals off assists from Olson in the 50th and 54th minute and New Albany took the win 5-1.
“The girls played really well,” Vogel said. “Sanders Goode had four goals so a lot of girls got to play and that’s good. It’s nice to get a win over them, they’re one of the top teams in 4A in the state.”

Defense keys Bulldog win over Falcons

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Reggie McWilliams makes this basket after a nice move in the lane. Photo by Dennis Clayton.
BY DENNIS CLAYTON
NEW ALBANY – New Albany relied on their defense as they sprinted out to a huge lead after one quarter to defeat county rival Ingomar 73-55 on Tuesday. The Bulldogs led 18-1 after one period.
“We came out kinda hot offensively,” New Albany coach Brad Gray said. “I thought we did a good job in the first quarter defensively, we defended them pretty well and got a lead.”
The Falcons came back in the second quarter and outscored the Bulldogs 20-18, but still found themselves on the short end of a 36-21 score at the half.
“Team defense was key to the win,” Gray said. Ingomar does a good job running their offense, they set good screens and they are patient with their offense, but I thought we did a good job defending it. We did a good job helping and rotating. Offensively, we got the ball inside more and that’s going to be the key for us, to play inside out.”
Rashad McWilliams sparked the Bulldog offense during the third quarter, scoring 11 points to give New Albany a 55-32 lead after three quarters.
McWilliams led the Bulldogs with 16 points, Reggie McWilliams had 12 and Latavious Bailey added 11.
Kelton Hall had a game-high 19 points for Ingomar and Laquain Foster scored 11.
New Albany took an early lead in the girls game and stretched it to a 10 point advantage of 26-16 at the half. Ingomar fought back to get within three points late in the game before the Lady Bulldogs escaped with the 52-48 win.
“We played a good two quarters and in the second half we just went through the motions,” New Albany coach John Stroud said. “Ingomar played really hard, they’re gritty and scrappy. They just never gave up, made a couple of shots to gain momentum and got back into the ballgame. I’m happy with the win, so we’ll move on to the next game.”
Ingomar relied on their press to trap New Albany and force turnovers to close the gap in the second half.
“It was just too many turnovers and they hammered us on offensive rebounding,” Ingomar coach Trent Adair said. “We cut it to three points late, but we over-pursued and trapped too long, then they hit a three that really set us back. She (Tashonda Caviness) hit four of them and that hurt us. We just never could develop a blow to get ahead.”
Samantha Bridges had 16 points for New Albany while Caviness and Jazzmine McWilliams each had 15.
Mallory Russell scored 14 points for Ingomar and Lauren Thompson had 13.

Falcons tame the Lions for homecoming win

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Lauren Thompson on the drive to the basket against Biggersville. Photo by Dennis Clayton.
BY DENNIS CLAYTON
INGOMAR – Ingomar enjoyed a double celebration at their homecoming and sweep of Biggerville’s Lions on Friday as they won 70-59 in the girls game and 68-53 in boys action.
“I thought overall we did well with the exception of the foul trouble,” Ingomar coach Trent Adair said. “One thing that we all have to remember is that we are breaking in an eighth grade point guard and there’s going to be some growing pains. She has a chance to be awfully good though before it’s over with. She’s pretty good now.”
Ingomar took the early lead after a quarter, going up 20-15. The second quarter was a turning point in the game as the Lady Falcons outscored Biggersville 18-9 and took a 38-24 lead into the half.
The differential in the second quarter proved to be the insurance that the Lady Falcons needed ad the teams played pretty practically even in the point department for the second half.
“Mallory (Russell) was great tonight,” Adair said. “We had to rely on her longer than I wanted to because of foul trouble, but she did well.”
Russell is returning from off-season knee surgery and is working hard to get back to total recovery over her injury.
The Lady Falcons were led by Russell’s 22 points and Gara Beth Self added 18 points.
The boys game matched two of the perennial powers of 1A basketball and the Falcons took an early lead of 17-13 and fought back each threat by the Lions to take the win.
Just as in the girls’ game, the second quarter proved to be the key in the Falcons’ win as they outscored the Lions 24-15 and took a 41-28 lead at halftime.
Biggersville was able to cut the Falcon lead down to four points in the third quarter, but Ingomar was able to hit a couple of shots to extend their lead to 49-42 at the quarter’s end. The fourth quarter belonged to the Falcons as they outscored the Lions 19-11 to take the win.
Laquain Foster had a game high 25 points to lead Ingomar and Kelton Hall had 15.

Hill’s shot sinks Vikings in OT

Dee Johnson drains a 3-pointer for Myrtle in the first half at North Pontotoc. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Dee Johnson drains a 3-pointer for Myrtle in the first half at North Pontotoc. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


BY DENNIS CLAYTON
ECRU – Chris Hill’s short jumper in the lane with two seconds remaining gave Myrtle the come-from-behind overtime win over North Pontotoc on Thursday 76-75.
“I felt like we gave it (game) away a couple of times and turned around and had to win it back,” Myrtle coach Rob Browning said. “Credit my boys, they decided that they weren’t going to lose. There’s a lot of things we have got to correct, but ultimately if you can get out of a game like this with a win, you’ll take it.”
The dramatic finish began with Hill at the free throw line with the Hawks down 75-73 with seven seconds left. Hill sank the first free throw to close the score to 75-74, but missed the second shot which set up the play of the game according to Browning.
“Titus (Gillard) kept that ball alive off the missed free throw, he tipped it and Chris followed the ball and made a heck of a shot,” Browning said. “It was a tough shot over people and we didn’t get a foul called. That was big and we’ll take it.”
Myrtle had taken what seemingly was a comfortable lead during the third quarter, but North Pontotoc chipped away and cut the double-digit lead down to nine by the end of the period at 50-41.
North Pontotoc got clutch 3-pointers during the fourth quarter to rally and briefly take the lead. The Vikings connected on four 3-pointers in the period.
The teams finished regulation tied 61-61 as Dee Johnson got off a shot that bounced off the back of the rim as time expired.
The teams were tied 6-6 after a quarter and again at the half 26-26.
Johnson led a quartet of Hawks in double figures with his 27 points. Hill and Lavon Kiddy had 12 points apiece and Anthony Lipsey added 10.
Myrtle improves to 6-1 on the year.
Myrtle girls lost a close one, 48-45 to the Lady Vikings. The Lady Hawks were able to get with one point at 44-43 following Jessica Floyd’s free throw to complete the three point play, but North Pontotoc picked up the insurance points needed to take the win.
Presley Goolsby sparked the first half scoring for Myrtle with nine points as the teams went to half with the Lady Hawks trailing 22-19.
Ivory Montgomery had a big second half for Myrtle, scoring 10 points.
Leading scorers for the Lady Hawks were Floyd with 14 and Montgomery finished with 12. Myrtle girls are now 4-3 on the year.
Ivory Montgomery drives in for two against North Pontotoc. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Ivory Montgomery drives in for two against North Pontotoc. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


Abiram Frazier hits the short jumper for the Hawks. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Abiram Frazier hits the short jumper for the Hawks. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


Presley Goolsby shoots this shot from the lane to score two of her nine first half points on Thursday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Presley Goolsby shoots this shot from the lane to score two of her nine first half points on Thursday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


Anthony Lipsey blocks out for the rebound against North Pontotoc. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Anthony Lipsey blocks out for the rebound against North Pontotoc. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Myrtle depth too much for Wheeler

Jonathan Scales goes in for the dunk on the Myrtle fast break. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Jonathan Scales goes in for the dunk on the Myrtle fast break. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


BY DENNIS CLAYTON
MYRTLE – Myrtle boys utilized their depth and athleticism to down Wheeler 87-41 in their game on Tuesday. The Hawks opened up a double-digit lead in the first quarter and continued to pour in the points the rest of the night.
“We got after it, I think we took advantage of them (Wheeler) not being prepared for the press,” Myrtle coach Rob Browning said. “The first games of the year you never know what to prepare for with the other teams and so I don’t think they were prepared for us to come out in something like that. We were able to build a lead by pushing the basketball.”
The Hawks press gave the Eagles problems and lead to several easy transition goals to give Myrtle a 19-5 lead after a quarter. Myrtle continued the offensive attack in the second quarter, scoring 24 points to extend their lead to 43-14 at the half.
Myrtle’s bench was instrumental in opening up the lead during the second quarter as Browning substituted liberally and the bench players scored 39 points for the game led by Jonathan Scales’ team-high 16 points.
“I thought that I had 8-10 players that played really well tonight,” Browning said. “Even some of the guys that played near the end of the game played well and did some things that I like to see. My big guys played well and we had a pretty good size advantage down low. My guards did a nice job getting the ball down to them.”
Scales led the scoring for the Hawks with 16 points, Dee Johnson and Chris Hill had 14 points apiece.
In the girls game, Myrtle and Wheeler were tied after a quarter, but the Lady Hawks struggled the rest of the game offensively. Wheeler took a 27-22 lead at the half.
“I thought we played fairly well the first half,” Browning said. “We had a couple of girls that had to sit due to fouls for a little bit. We just completely got outplayed in the second half and that’s on me. We’ll get back in here tomorrow and try to correct a few things.”
Myrtle was never able to hit double figures during a quarter following the first period. Wheeler won the contest 65-38.
Jessica Floyd led Myrtle in scoring with 13 points, Ivory Montgomery added 10 and Geniesha Montgomery had 9 points.
Myrtle will play New Albany on Friday and will participate in the Pontotoc tournament on Saturday, playing Lewisburg.
Josh Goolsby connects on this running jumper in the lane on Tuesday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Josh Goolsby connects on this running jumper in the lane on Tuesday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


Titus Gillard drives into the lane for the layup over the Wheeler defender. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Titus Gillard drives into the lane for the layup over the Wheeler defender. Photo by Dennis Clayton.