Gene Phelps | Special to the Gazette
NEW ALBANY – New Albany entered halftime of Friday’s Division 1-4A tournament consolation game with a one-point lead over Tishomingo County.
The Bulldogs’ coach, Scotty Shettles, asked his team in the dressing room: “The game’s close. How bad do y’all want to win the game?”
It seems New Albany wanted it bad. The Bulldogs, behind 10 points from senior guard Mitchell Shettles and seven from forward Artaveion High, outscored the Braves 27-9 in the third quarter on their way to a 79-57 victory.
High led New Albany with 20 points. Shettles scored 19 and point guard Isaiah Ball added 18.
“We came out the third quarter and played with lots of energy,” Scotty Shettles said. “We made shots, we made free throws. I thought we played well tonight. Last night was a different story.”
New Albany (21-7), which lost 58-47 to Corinth in Thursday’s semifinals, advanced to Tuesday’s first round of the 4A state tournament. The Bulldogs play Tuesday at Indianola Gentry.
Friday’s game was tied 21-21 after the first period. Tishomingo County (11-20) took a 31-26 lead in the second quarter on a 3-pointer by Trey Mitchell.
New Albany entered halftime leading 35-34 following a short jumper by Shettles.
Connor Bonds and Spencer Coffman scored 12 points each for Tishomingo County, which also advanced to the first round to play at Greenwood.
(G) New Albany 59, North Pontotoc 50
The Lady Vikings held New Albany’s perimeter threat Kelsey Ledbetter to zero 3-pointers, but they didn’t plan on feeling Ashanti High’s shooting touch.
High scored 18 points, including nine on three 3-pointers, to lead the Lady Bulldogs to their consolation win. Ledbetter finished with 14 points.
“(High) hit some big shots,” New Albany coach Micha Washington said. “We needed her to have a big game. When she does, we usually see a positive result. It takes the pressure off others when she performs.”
Madison Donald added 11 points for the Lady Bulldogs. North Pontotoc’s Maddie Guervin led all scorers with 26 points, including five 3-pointers.
New Albany (15-13) will travel Monday to play at Greenwood.