West Point basketball wraps up 2017 with losses to Noxubee

Aamiya Rush looks to pass out of a double team by Kemper Academy. Rush finished with 21 points in the win.
Staff Writer

The West Point boy’s and girl’s basketball teams rounded out 2017 with wins over Class 3A Kemper County last Tuesday, but both teams were defeated by Noxubee County on Friday night.

Against Kemper County, Ty Johnson was able to give the Lady Wave an early spark by pouring in 11 points in the first quarter for a 19-7 West Point lead. Johnson would finish the first half with 16, as the Lady Wave increased their lead to 33-12.

Aamiya Rush scored eight in the third quarter for West Point as the Lady Wave cruised to a 45-17 lead after three quarters. West Point would not score a point in the fourth quarter as Dash Daniel inserted his bench into the game, however, the Lady Wave would still come away with a 45-23 win over Kemper County.

West Point Lady Wave head coach Dash Daniel attributed the win to his team’s pressure defense.

“We’re so young that we’re not going to be able to set up in a defense and stop somebody,” Daniel said. “We’re going to have to apply pressure because in the half-court we’re not tall enough or fast enough yet, to apply that pressure.”

Rush would lead all scorers with 21, while Johnson finished with 20 points.

The Lady Wildcats were led by Chantel Stringfellow’s seven points.

“My main goal is to get her (Johnson) going, because that makes the defense sink in and opens it up for Rush to do what she does,” Daniel said. “(Rush) likes to get into gaps and attack. It’s hard to do that if we’re not getting the inside presence and the defense is more focused on the wings.”

However, the Lady Wave would fall to Noxubee 52-29 on Friday night in their last game before the New Year. Rush lead West Point with 14 on Friday night. Johnson did not play on Friday night against the Lady Tigers.

The boy’s team won a thriller on Tuesday night against Kemper County 51-48, as the Green Wave survived a close call, while losing a closely-contested game to Noxubee County on Friday night.

West Point maintained a solid lead over the Wildcats for much of the game leading 16-9 after the first quarter and 30-24 at halftime.

The Green Wave built their biggest lead at the end of the third quarter, however, as Jason Brownlee gathered a rebound for a one-handed jam and sank a three-pointer during the last 30 seconds of the quarter to put West Point in front 45-35.

Tuesday was Brownlee’s first game of the season, coming in from football.

“Jason is a natural athlete,” West Point head coach Donta Yates said. “Being a senior, I look for him to lead us and help get the other guys in line coming in. He’s going to be a great addition throughout the rest of the season.”

The Green Wave let Kemper County get back into the game and tie the score late in the fourth. A pair of Shun Crawford free throws would put West Point up two with under a minute to go, followed by Brandon Harris going to the line with 10 seconds remaining. Harris would make the front end of the foul shots, putting the Green Wave up three. The Wildcats’ half court heave to tie the game went in and out of the basket, giving West Point the 51-48 win.

“We still have some learning to do, as far as knowing the game,” Yates said. “Tonight was a good test for us and come district, and come the playoffs, we should be ready.”

Against Kemper County, Jacorius Hammond, Demarius Chandler, and Brownlee all scored nine points apiece, while Michael Gibson scored eight. In the Green Wave’s matchup with Noxubee County, West Point again saw a lead disintegrate in the fourth quarter, however, this time they were not as fortunate to come away with a win.

The Green Wave led 30-17 at halftime and took a 42-33 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers outscored West Point 17-6 in the fourth quarter, however, for a 50-48 win.

Harris had another solid outing, scoring 16 points and pulling down eight rebounds for the Green Wave.

Somaj Harris caught fire from three-point range, scoring 15, including three from downtown.

Dishoune Cooperwood added eight.