By John Davis, Sports Editor
RIPLEY – A third meeting between Lafayette and New Albany turned out like the first two for the Bulldogs.<>
Paced by a strong defensive effort, New Albany is moving on in the Division 2-4A Tournament. The Bulldogs’ 59-41 win over over the Commodores set up a matchup with Rosa Fort tonight in the quarterfinals.
The Bulldogs only allowed nine points in the first half. They scored the first 10 points of the game, and led 15-2 after the first quarter. They were comfortably ahead 29-9 at the half.
“When you only give up nine points in the first half, that’s pretty solid,” New Albany coach Robert Burdette said. “It’s hard to beat a team three times, but at the same time, if you’ve beaten them twice, then you know you can beat them a third time.”
Burdette said he told his Bulldogs that it didn’t matter what the record or the score was.
“It’s can we do the things that will allow us to be successful,” Burdette added. “Can we defend, can we rebound, can we take good shots and can we take care of the ball. If can do those things, then the score will take care of itself.”
New Albany checked off all the details Burdette stressed, and them some. Lafayette had several opportunities to make it a game early but just couldn’t make a key basket, or stop.
“We didn’t handle the slow start very well, we didn’t play as a team and we didn’t react well as a team,” Lafayette coach John Sherman said. “Mentally, we just self destructed.”
Miles Washington led New Albany with 18 points in the victory. Rashaun Rockette and Tyler Williams each had eight for Lafayette.
(G) Senatobia 42, New Albany 25: The Lady Bulldogs (6-21) season came to a close with the loss. Senatobia plays No. 1 Byhalia tonight at 7.
(G) Ripley 51, Tunica-Rosa Fort 39: The Lady Tigers (19-7) are moving on to face No. 2 Lafayette in the quarterfinals.
Montara Crum led Ripley with 22 points.