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Northeast boys rally to win over Neshoba

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Dec. 5, 2001
PHILADELPHIA Northeast Lauderdale's Trojans rallied from a 15-point deficit over the final eight-and-a-half minutes to take a 76-71 road win over a hot Neshoba Central team Tuesday night.
The Rockets, champions of the East Central Community College Central Mississippi Classic last week, jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead only to have the Trojans use the first of many comebacks for a 9-9 tie with four minutes left in the opening quarter.
The Lady Rockets of NCHS rolled to a 55-42 win over the Northeast Lauderdale girls.
In the boys game, Neshoba led 23-15 after one quarter and went up 31-17 with 6:18 to go in the first half on a basket from Desmond Jones.
A breakaway dunk by Stephen Dyess began a Trojan run of seven straight points to bring Northeast back to within 35-30 with two minutes to go before halftime.
Only 4-of-4 free-throw shooting by Eric Truss in the final 17 seconds sent the Rockets into halftime with a 43-39 advantage.
The Rockets then pulled away to their biggest lead of the night at 61-46 with 2:27 remaining in the third quarter.
Dyess and Dekenno Winston each hit a 3-pointer as Northeast closed to within 64-61 with 5:24 left.
Winston then cut it to one with a steal and layup 16 seconds later.
A three-point play by Jones put the Rockets up 67-63 with 4:28 showing, but Northeast scored 13 of the game's final 17 points to take the win.
Marcus Betts tied the game at 67-67 with 4:05 to go. Winston hit one of two free throws with 3:17 showing for a one-point lead.
Neshoba went back up by one at 69-68 on a basket by Calvin Parker with 2:43 to go.
Alex Ford gave the Trojans the lead for good with a basket 21 seconds later. Dyess extended the Northeast lead to three when he drove the lane at the 1:10 mark and gave the Trojans a six-point bulge with a three-point play with 49.8 seconds remaining.
It was a familiar finish between the two this year.
Northeast, 8-2, got 22 points from Jamaal Martin, 21 from Dyess, and 16 from Winston. The trio combined for eight 3-pointers. Betts added seven points.
Neshoba, 7-3, was led by Tawon Walker's 27 points, 12 of which came in the first quarter. Jones scored 17, Parker had 10, and Tavares Walker tossed in nine.
Neshoba girls 55
Northeast 42
The girls' game was much like the boys' with Neshoba pulling out to double-digit leads only to have the Lady Trojans continuously ease back into the contest.
Neshoba led 18-6 early in the second quarter and carried a 21-17 advantage into halftime.
The Lady Rockets went up 33-22 on a jumper in the lane from Elyse Willis with 2:13 left in the third quarter only to have Northeast close to within 33-28 to start the fourth quarter.
The Lady Rockets built their lead back up to 39-28 with 5:25 to play only to have Northeast rally once again to take a 42-41 advantage with just 2:20 to go on a putback basket from Quin Jackson.
Neshoba then finished the game with a 14-0 run over the final 2:11 to improve to 9-3.
Krystal Wells led the Lady Rockets with 18 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter which saw her make 6-of-6 free throws. Miranda Rosar added 15 points, while India Backstrum scored 10 and Willis added eight.
Northeast, 4-8, got 17 points from Shaquita Bell and 15 from Jackson.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at mstamper@themeridianstar.com or call him at 693-1551, ext. 3235.

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