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Blacksher, McKenzie get best of Eagles

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
On paper it looked like a good opportunity for the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles to finally break into the win column. Instead Friday's 68-50 home loss to the McKenzie Tigers was the latest chapter in the Blue Eagles' frustrating season.
When the teams met at McKenzie earlier this month, W.S. Neal had as much as a six-point lead in the third quarter before the Tigers rallied for a 52-45 victory.
McKenzie controlled Friday's rematch pretty much from the start. The Tigers moved in front 14-11 through one quarter and extended that lead to 29-19 by halftime.
While the Blue Eagles (0-17) briefly cut that lead to seven points early in the third quarter, McKenzie regained the momentum and widened that cushion up to 48-32 by the end of the period. Ten points in the final period by McKenzie's Russell Davison, who had a game high 20 for the game, secured the Tigers' victory.
Cory Freeman and Jeremy Burch both had 12 points to pace W.S. Neal.
The Blue Eagles host Flomaton Tuesday.
At W.S. Neal
McKenzie 14 15 19 20 – 68
W.S. Neal 11 8 13 18 – 50
MCKENZIE (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) R. Davison 10-0-0-20; D. Davison 4-2-1-15; J. Lowe 6-0-2-14; R. Lowe 0-4-1-13; Cobb 0-1-0-3; Ball 1-0-0-2; McPherson 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 21-7-5-68)
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Burch 4-0-4-12; Freeman 5-0-2-12; Folmar 4-0-1-11; Godbolt 2-1-2-9; Alexander 3-0-0-6 (Totals: 18-2-8-50)
Thursday's game
After an emotional narrow loss to T.R. Miller Tuesday, the Blue Eagles probably took a step back with Thursday's 60-43 road loss to the J.U. Blacksher Bulldogs.
"I was concerned we would have a letdown after the Miller game. We didn't have quite the same intensity against Blacksher," W.S. Neal coach Tom Lawler said. "Blacksher has some good players. The first time we played them they beat us from the perimeter. This time it was more from their penetration."
Free throws were also a key to the Blue Eagles' downfall. W.S. Neal hit just 10 of 24 attempts, but that included a three-for-13 stretch when the outcome was still undecided.
The Bulldogs (5-15) started to take control of the game midway through the first quarter. With the score deadlocked at 6-6, J.U. Blacksher got three-pointers by James Akins and Nick Caraway to open up a 17-10 lead by the end of the period. Michael Packer's three-point play at the start of the second period took the lead into double figures at 20-10.
J.U. Blacksher had as much as a 13-point bulge in the first half after a charity toss by Packer made it 28-15.
Buckets by Marcus Folmar and Alphonso Gross briefly trimmed the Bulldogs' lead into single digits at 28-19.
A steal and layup by Hill late in the second quarter gave J.U. Blacksher a 30-19 half-time edge. The Bulldogs' lead would stay in double digits the rest of the way.
The Bulldogs scored the first six points of the second half and 12 of the first 15 to open up a commanding 42-22 bulge. W.S. Neal would not get any closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Folmar led the Blue Eagles with 12 points.
At J.U. Blacksher
W.S. Neal 10 9 9 15 – 43
J.U. Blacksher 17 13 16 14 – 60
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Folmar 3-1-3-12; Alexander 1-0-5-7; Freeman 3-0-1-7; Gross 3-0-0-6; Burch 2-0-1-5; Godbolt 2-0-0-4; Dexter 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 15-1-10-43)
J.U. BLACKSHER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Packer 5-0-5-15; Hill 3-1-1-10; Wiggins 4-0-1-9; Akins 1-2-0-8; Cumbie 3-0-0-6; Shivers 1-1-0-5; Parker 2-0-0-4; Caraway 0-1-0-3 (Totals: 19-5-7-60)