NETTLETON WINS 1-2A SHOWDOWN
By Parrish Alford
NETTLETON In the end, Baldwyn's Lady Bearcats fell short in the same rat race many other teams have this season. They couldn't keep up with Nettleton's Joneses.
In a matchup of two highly-ranked teams in the Daily Journal girls poll, No. 6 Nettleton got 25 points from Portia Jones and 21 from Teneeshia Jones to beat No. 4 Baldwyn 57-53 in overtime. The win leaves Nettleton in a three-way tie for first in Division 1-2A with No. 5 Hatley and New Site. From the beginning of the fourth quarter through the overtime, only one Nettleton basket was not scored by the top two Joneses.
In the boys game No. 5 Baldwyn defeated Nettleton 64-60.
The Lady Tigers (12-4, 4-1) held a six-point fourth quarter lead but couldn't deliver the knockout punch. Baldwyn (18-4, 3-2) forced the overtime with a free throw from Jamie Bender with 1 minute, 7 seconds left in regulation.
The Lady Tigers held for the last shot, but Portia Jones missed with four seconds left.
Nettleton led 54-53 with 19 seconds left in the overtime and Portia Jones at the line. She hit just one of two free throws, leaving the Lady Bearcats ample time to force a second overtime. Baldwyn worked the ball down, but Nene Pippin's pass to a heavily-guarded Bender went out of bounds.
Portia Jones was fouled after the in-bounds pass. This time she hit both shots to put the game away.
"We had our opportunities," Baldwyn coach Mike Cartwright said. "We had a chance there at the end but missed the pass."
"We were double teaming down on Bender," Nettleton coach Joe Ferguson said. "We were trying to at least front her. We had her guarded, and they threw a bad pass."
Pippin's lob to Bender, who led the Lady Bearcats with 22 points, put Baldwyn on top 49-48 with 3:23 to go in the overtime. But Teneeshia Jones regained the lead for Nettleton with two free throws at the 2:53 mark. A Letesha Seals bucket gave the Lady Tigers a three-point lead with 2:26 left.
Twice Baldwyn made it a one-point game before Portia Jones ended it at the line.
"We knew this was going to be a tough game," Ferguson said. "Baldwyn played hard, but Portia did a good job for us in the open court. We tried to capitalize on some mistakes."
Shonna Agnew added 13 points for Baldwyn.
The Lady Bearcats led 18-16 at the half. Nettleton took its first third-quarter lead with 4:41 left on a pair of free throws from Cheryl Jones.
The Baldwyn boys (18-4) put four players in double figures. Julian Anderson led the way with 19 points, followed by Joseph Marshall with 17, Keena Robbins with 16 and Mark Davis with 10.
Nettleton (9-9) got 21 points from Reggie Sharp and 10 from Eric LaGrone.