Wright’s runner keeps War Dawgs perfect|[01/19/08]

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 18, 2008

UTICA — Thanks to JaCorey Wright’s 5-foot runner with two seconds left, Hinds AHS remains unbeaten heading into Monday’s showdown with Madison-Ridgeland Academy.

Wright’s basket was the game-winner in the War Dawgs’ 46-44 win over visiting St. Andrew’s Friday night at the Utica Coliseum at Hinds Community College. Hinds AHS, the top-ranked team in Class 2A, moves to 20-0 on the season. They will play MRA, the top ranked team in the Mississippi Private School Association, Monday at 2:30 p.m. as part of the Rumble in the South at Mississippi College’s Wood Coliseum in Clinton.

“I was going for the last shot, all the way,” Wright said.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

St. Andrew’s Michael Halford had scored five straight points in a 20-second span to erase a 44-39 War Dawg lead and tie the game at 44 with 19.9 seconds left.

Wright dribbled the ball at the top of the key with 12 seconds left, then made his move with eight seconds to go. He drove past his initial defender and underhanded a shot past the Saints’ help defender. The shot rolled in for the lead, as the clocked trickled down to 1.1 seconds left. Officials added .9 seconds to give St. Andrew’s one last shot.

The Saints, who rarely missed an open jump shot, had to settle for Halford’s half-court prayer that sailed high off the back board.

“They got up for us,” Wright, who sat out the third quarter after re-injuring his hand, said of the Saints. “I jammed my hand two weeks ago and then I hit it again late in the second quarter tonight.”

Hinds coach Keith Washington was just glad to get out with a win.

“We weren’t very sharp tonight and we got banged up, but this is what basketball is about,” Washington said. “This is the worst we shot at home this year and we were 0-for-7 from the line. We may be undefeated but we have a ways to go. I think we’ve become a little complacent over the past few weeks.”

St. Andrew’s (10-12) had control of the tempo from the start, spreading out the War Dawg defense and working for a shot. They took just 30 for the game, but made 18, including six 3-pointers, for a 60 percent shooting average.

Hinds’ biggest lead was eight points at 23-15. The Saints’ second trey made it 23-18 at the half.

A 3-pointer by Lee Garbadi put the Saints up 37-35. Keith Williams, Jr. answered for Hinds with a three of his own to put the War Dawgs ahead for good with 5:15 to play.

With 1:25 left, Kenderek Washington scored off a Wright dish to make it 44-39. It took St. Andrew’s nearly a minute before they got a deep 3-pointer from Halford to cut it to two at 44-42. A steal by William Mayfield set up Halford’s 16-footer to tie it at 44-all.

Washington led Hinds with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Keeslee Stewart had 13 points.

Halford led St. Andrew’s with 17 points.

(G) Hinds AHS 37, St. Andrew’s 35

Audrika Webster had a basket and two free throws in the final two minutes to lead the Lady War Dawgs (10-10) past St. Andrew’s Friday night.

Webster finished with nine points. Kyla Marshall had seven. Maggie Floyd led St. Andrew’s with nine.