It wasn't a good day for the Mississippi high school boys basketball teams at the Travis Outlaw Slam Dunk at the Hump Christmas Tournament.
Not only was host Starkville defeated by Midfield, Ala., in the final game of the day, but New Hope lost a 51-40 decision to Lanett, Ala., in the first game of the day and Aberdeen fell 72-61 to Hamilton, Tenn.
Even though his Bulldogs didn't come out on the winning side, coach Roy Hazzle said the opportunity to play at Humphrey Coliseum on the Mississippi State campus was worth the drive down from Aberdeen.
"It's a place where young people have to grow up," Hazzle said. "This is the best of the best playing here.
It's an experience they will never forget. We appreciate the invitation. We wish we could have played three nights in a row, but we had to work something out with our schedule."
Hazzle's Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-20 lead after the first quarter, but the team from Tennessee gained a 34-31 advantage at halftime and took control of the game from that point.
Keelon Lawson led Hamilton, Tenn., with 21 points, while Tyren Collier added 17 points, Dedric Lawson scored 12 points and DeMonte Pearson chipped in 11 points.
For Aberdeen, Ken McCoy had 14 points and Brandon Hodges also scored in double figures with 10 points.
"We love coming here, but the kids need to start being at their best when they come into an atmosphere like this," Hazzle said. "We have a dome, but this beats all of it right here. We're going to come back, wipe this away and treat (today) as a new day."
The Bulldogs play Lanett, Ala., at 4:30 p.m., while Hamilton, Tenn., takes on Starkville at 6 p.m. in today's action.
Lanett, Ala. 51
New Hope 40
Desmond Stevenson had 14 points as the visitors from Alabama took control of the game against the Trojans in the fourth quarter.
Lanett, Ala., jumped out to a 6-0, but New Hope kept the game close by only trailing 16-12 after the first quarter, 26-24 at the half and 34-33 in the third quarter. The Trojans were only able to score seven points in the final quarter.
For Lanett, Ala., Orendaz Holloway joined Stevenson in double digits with 11 points.
Whyatt Foster had 10 points for New Hope, which plays Midfield, Ala., at 3 p.m. today.