BOONEVILLE – Nettleton scored just five seconds into its game with Potts Camp last Tuesday at the Gerald Snider Classic at Northeast, which set the tone for a dominating 72-44 victory.
“We got off to a good start and kind of took the wind out of their sails,” Nettleton coach Grant Gardner said. “They were feeling good, having won a couple of games lately, and I think maybe we got into their confidence level a little bit and got the ball rolling downhill. Scoring in the first five seconds was a big deal.”
Jamorion Ball put in that opening basket quickly in the first quarter and combined with JaDyn Brand on a 6-0 run to start the game before Potts Camp could answer. Zavian Dilworth responded with a three-pointer after the Cardinals’ first bucket to make it 9-2.
The Tigers continued to pull away with a 13-0 run that included four points from Jacorien Moore and other scoring contributions from Trey Smith, Brand, Keylin Ruff, Cam Ball and Keandre Johnson.
Potts Camp took a timeout with 2:42 left in the quarter and finally broke their drought, but the Tigers ended the first on a 9-2 run. Jamorion Ball had two more baskets late in the quarter, including the final one.
Ruff opened the second by extending the lead to 33-8, and Moore followed him up with a steal and a bucket. That sparked another 13-0 run with Dilworth, Smith, Jay Hawkins and Jaylon Betts all getting in on the action. The Cardinals broke through in the second on a technical foul for a Nettleton player not being listed in the scorebook and finally found some life, scoring eight of the next ten.
Gardner emptied his bench late in the second, and Koda Hayles and Dre Long added late baskets to make it 51-20 at the half.
Ball sank a three to start the third quarter, and Moore scored the next four stretch it out to 58-20. Potts Camp got its first basket at the 4:29 mark, but Johnson hit a three to answer that one. Hawkins had five points late in the third, including a three-pointer, but the Cardinals started a 14-0 run that carried over into the first part of the fourth.
That run ended with them still trailing Nettleton 66-38, and Hayles, Long and Winston Housley all came off the bench to score in the final quarter.
Moore ended up the only Tiger in double figures with 10 points.
“I was proud of our guys because everybody that played contributed,” Gardner said. “The most anybody played was 14 minutes, and the least someone played was about 9-10 minutes. Our defense was good, and we forced a lot of turnovers and got out into transition. Any time you can force 25 turnovers, you feel like you are going to be successful.”