By Brad Greer
Mired in a 10-game losing streak, the North Delta Green Wave had its last chance to pick up a district win Tuesday night as they hosted Lee Academy in the final regular season home game.
But as fate would have it, the Green Wave came up short of the victory when a last second shot at the buzzer clanged off the rim as the Colts came away with a 34-32 win. Lee won the first meeting 57-46 in double overtime Jan. 5th in Clarksdale.
North Delta (4-15; 0-10) took a 24-22 lead heading into the fourth quarter before Lee went on a 11-4 run to take a 33-28 advantage on a Avian Thomas layup with 3:11 remaining. The Green Wave cut the margin to 34-32 as a Colt turnover led to a Ely Bryant basket with 1:09 left to play.
After a missed free throw by Lee’s Jamal Fisher, the Green Wave had a chance to tie or take the lead with less than a minute remaining, but turned the ball over on alternating possessions following a jump ball.
North Delta had yet again one last gasp at victory as Jacob Branch misfired on two free throws with nine seconds showing on the clock. The Wave quickly rebounded and got the ball into the hands of Bryant who’s last- second three pointer bounced off the front part of the rim as the horn sounded.
Lee jumped out to a early 13-8 lead after one quarter of play before North Delta rallied in the second period to tie the game 17-17 at the half. Bryant scored six of his team leading ten points on two treys in the first half while Alex Greenlee added seven on three field goals and a free throw.
Cole Devazier’s deep three pointer from the right corner at the 4:11 mark of the third gave North Delta its first lead of the second half 20-18 before Peyton Neal’s back-to-back baskets extended the margin to 24-18.
Greenlee followed Bryant in scoring with nine points while Neal and Devazier added five each. Joseph Wright finished with three points.
ND (girls) 46, Lee 24
The Lady Green successfully defended its home court on Senior Night with a resounding victory over the Phillies to close out the district slate at 6-4 good enough for a second place tie and a No.3 seed in the upcoming District 1-AAA tournament to be held Feb. 4-6th at North Delta.
Sarah Johnson and Ally Alford scored 11 points each to pace North Delta. Emy Cay Donaldson chipped in with eight points as the Lady Wave improved to 13-7 on the season. Seniors Megan Bollinger and Ginger Stephens were honored between the varsity boys and girls games.
North Delta took an 11-7 lead after one quarter of play, blitzing Lee on a 20-6 run in the second quarter to take a commanding 31-13 lead at intermission. Donaldson and Alford each had six points while Johnson supplied five in the half.
The Lady Wave ended the night shooting 39 percent for the floor and was 10-of-20 from the free throw line. Stephens and Mary Emily Morris scored five points apiece while Bollinger finished with four. Faith Bollinger and Hailey Rikard each added one point.
North Delta’s varsity games originally scheduled for tonight at Central Holmes has been canceled and will instead close out the regular season Monday at Desoto, Arkansas beginning at 6 p.m.
ND (JH girls) 19, Lee 12
The Junior High Lady Wave picked up a victory in a low scoring affair as Alford led all scorers with nine points. Donaldson added three points with Hannah Bollinger, Sayle Stennett and Isabella Morrow contributed with two points apiece. Blakely Denham finished with one point.
North Delta picked up a No.2 seed in the junior high tournament held at Kirk and took on the Kirk/ St. Joe winner last night with the championship game slated for tomorrow at 2 p.m.
Lee ( JH boys) 31, ND 26
Matt Burchfield garnered nine points in a losing effort. Colin Hartman added eight points including two three pointers. Chris Burchfield followed with seven points while Ryan Gibson rounded out the scoring with two points.
North Delta opened up the Junior High tournament at Kirk with a 35-33 victory over Bayou Wednesday and played St. Joe last night with the winner advancing to the championship game tomorrow at 3:15 p.m.
By Brad Greer