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Generals advance in district tournament

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Jan. 31, 2001
DECATUR It was quite an up-and-down regular season for the Newton County Academy boys' basketball team.
After all, the Generals were the only team in Academy District 3-A to knock off regular-season champ Kemper, but NCA still finished just third in the league.
Tuesday, however, was one of those up nights for the Generals.
NCA used three separate 10-0 runs to take control of their contest with Central Academy, knocking off the Vikings 69-41 in opening-round action of the MPSA District 3-A Tournament.
Tuesday's other first-round boys' game saw Heidelberg Academy hold off Wayne Academy 50-43.
The district tourney resumes Thursday at NCA with the host Generals taking on second-seeded Sylva-Bay at 4 p.m., and top-seeded Kemper meeting Heidelberg at 7 p.m.
Newton County Academy boys 69, Central Academy 41: The Vikings, who finished 1-25, actually led by four points early and were up 17-16 after one quarter.
But NCA came back behind the play of Daniel Champion and the long ball of his teammates.
Champion nailed a basket and had an assist on one of two 3-pointers by David White during a 10-0 spurt that helped the Generals to a 30-26 lead at halftime.
A breakaway layup by Champion and a 3-pointer by Jason Frith sparked the team's second 10-0 run to open the second half, and after Central pulled within 40-32, three's from Frith and Kyle Chaney sparked 10 more unanswered points that helped send NCA into the final period with a 50-35 lead.
The Generals put four players in double figures and got 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Champion to help NCA improve to 14-11.
Nathan Stamper had 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Frith also had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Chaney scored 10 and had six boards, White scored nine and Daniel Harrison scored six.
Ken Hailey led Central with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Chris Cooper scored nine points and had five assists and Freddie Rigdon scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Heidelberg Academy boys 50, Wayne Academy 43: The Rebels held Wayne to just nine points in the entire first half, but had to hold off the Jaguars down the stretch.
Wayne, which finished 5-14, pulled within 31-26 heading into the fourth quarter and got within four before the Rebels finished them off.
Heath Ainsworth led the Rebels with 15 points, while Scott McInnis scored 12 and Blake Bass 10 as HA improved to 9-12 on the season.
Steven Wood, who hit five 3-pointers and pumped in 22 points in the second half alone, finished with a game-high 25 to lead Wayne. Brent Sturdivant added nine.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@themeridianstar.com.