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Warriors win close match

By By Jim Luke/The Meridian Star
Dec. 22, 2001
NOXAPATER Anyone who did not get their money's worth here Friday night simply was not watching the game as the Nanih Waiya Warriors held off the Noxapater Tigers in a fierce hoops battle to win 69-66. In the girls game Nanih Waiya shrugged off a 17-17 tie at the end of the first quarter to win 71-47.
The Noxapater boys held the early lead and built that lead out to as many as eight points in the second quarter before Nanih Waiya began battling back into the game. Trailing 34-28 late in the first half, the Warriors outscored the Tigers 11-2 to take a halftime advantage of 39-36.
Brent Blackwell scored 21 points in the first half to spark the Warriors offensively and added 18 more in the second half to end the game with 39 points. In the last minute of the game he hit five of six from the free throw line to clinch the game for the Warriors and coach Fred Hickmon was singing his praises after the game.
After Nanih Waiya built an eight-point lead in the third quarter, Noxapater had some offensive spark from Jonathan Hunter and Adam Forsman to close the gap. The Tigers tied the game at 50-50 with two minutes left in the third quarter to set up a seesaw battle that went down to the final seconds as a three-point shot at the buzzer would not find the basket for the Tigers.
For Hickmon the game had a special significance. In his years of playing at Nanih Waiya the Warriors never beat the Tigers in basketball.
In addition to Blackwell, the Warriors got 13 points in the game from David Frey. Hunter and Forsman led the Tigers with 18 points and 17 points respectively while Steven Cole added 14.
Nanih Waiya will be back in action the Thursday after Christmas as they face Philadelphia in the opening round of the Philadelphia-Rush Medical Holiday Classic. Noxapater, 1-7, will not play again until after the Christmas break when they will face Nanih Waiya.
In the girls' contest, the Lady Warriors exploded offensively and played a stifling defense in the second quarter as they outscored the Lady Tigers 24-1 en route to the win.
The Lady Warriors were led in the game by Heather Steele with 20 points and Courtnee Graham with 19 points.
Ashley Pugh added 11 and Jamie Jones 10 in the winning effort. The Lady Tigers were led by Deidre Triplett with 23 points.
Nanih Waiya, 11-5, and Noxapater, 4-10, will be back in action after Christmas as they host a girls Christmas holiday tournament.