By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer
While the Chargers and Lady Chargers of Choctaw County High School won’t be playing any basketball games this week, their schedule is full the week after the Thanksgiving Holidays.
The CCHS squads are set to visit Ethel High School on Tuesday, Dec. 3, before taking part in the Winona Tournament Dec. 4-6. On that Wednesday the Lady Chargers and Chargers take on J.Z. George, before facing host Winona on Thursday and Montgomery County on Friday.
The Lady Chargers went into the Thanksgiving break with a 1-3 mark. The CCHS girls opened the week with a 63-25 win over Montgomery County on Tuesday, before losing to Hamilton 48-41 and Caledonia 29-18 in the Caledonia Tournament.
The Choctaw County boys dropped their season opener to Montgomery County 73-51, before bouncing back to beat Hamilton 73-54 on Thursday in the Caledonia Tournament. The next night saw the Chargers fall to host Caledonia 59-39.
The Lady Chargers shared the wealth as far as scoring goes, with all but two players on the roster scoring in the contest. “I was pleased with that victory and the way we played to get that win,” said CCHS head coach Gary Beals. “We pressed and got out to a big lead and everybody contributed.”
Tatum Southern and Kiera Fair were the leading scorers for the Lady Chargers with eight points each, while Dijadra Pratt and Tierra Conner scored seven apiece.
Thursday’s loss to Hamilton was a tough one for the Lady Chargers, as they held a lead with four minutes to go in the game.
“It came down to a free-throw shooting contest and we lost,” Beals said. His Lady Chargers were 14-of-41 from the line for the game and just 2-of-10 down the stretch. “The game was nip and tuck and we played pretty hard, I was just disappointed in our free throw shooting,” Beals said.
Fair led Choctaw County with 17 points, while Shay Alston contributed seven.
The Lady Chargers found themselves down two points at halftime to Caledonia in what turned out to be an extremely low-scoring contest. CCHS took a 16-14 lead, but Caledonia then outscored the Lady Chargers 15-2 the rest of the way to take the 29-18 victory. Fair led CCHS with six points.
“We have a lot of youth and I’m playing a lot of girls who are getting experience,” Beals said. “We maybe have two girls who are playing 25 minutes and the rest are getting about 15 each. That will really help us down the road.”
The CCHS had an up and down week.
“We had really only had two practices together because of football going into that first game,” Beals said. “We were still trying to get some of the football out of us in the first part of the game and we fell behind. But I was really proud of how they fought back and cut it to 11, before they pulled away on us there at the end.”
Jamarcus Bradley led the Chargers with 16 points, while Tre Brown scored 10.
Choctaw County had four players in double figures in the 73-54 win over Hamilton. “We played very well in that game,” Beals said. “We showed some improvement in that game, with a little better shot selection. That’s still something we have to work on.”
Bradley scored 17 points for CCHS in the game, while Danny Woodard had 13 and Mello Woodard and Brown hit for 12 each.
After being able to run the floor against Hamilton, Caledonia came out in a zone defense, which stifled Choctaw County’s offensive attack.
“We were able to score against Hamilton by pressure, but we didn’t show any patience against the zone,” Beals said. “We have go to get our big post in the game.”
Bradley and Danny Woodard scored 10 points each to lead the Chargers in scoring.