Okolona: Definitely Back

Okolona’s Willie Grady

Even though they’d been winning and winning since Jeremy Newsome‘s return, I still wasn’t sure if the Okolona Chieftains were for real. This was a team, after all, that started the season 1-6. And when I saw them play Aberdeen on Dec. 8 – pre-Newsome – I saw a poor-shooting, disjointed team that looked a lot better during pregame warmups than after tip-off.

I went back to Okolona tonight (Friday) and saw the Chieftains pick up a very impressive 72-67 win over Ingomar in a Region 2-1A game. That makes Okolona 10-9 overall, but more importantly 4-0 in division.

Newsome (10 points, 6 blocks) wasn’t even the biggest factor. Willie Grady (18 points) is obviously the glue of this team, and the senior showed it by taking over in the fourth period (10 points, eight at the line). David Gardner (19 points), a 6-4 freshman, is as promising a youngster as you’ll find in the area.

The Chieftains didn’t shoot that well – 34.3 percent – but the stat that jumped out at me was this one: 8 turnovers. They’d committed 24 in that loss to Aberdeen. And in the second half against Ingomar, they forced 11 turnovers after getting just four in the first half.

Myrtle is still the 1A measuring stick around here, but Ingomar beat the Hawks once, and Okolona could certainly give them a run. Here’s betting they will.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Okolona: Definitely Back

  1. bulldawgrock

    Yes Jeremy Newsome’s was a force to deal with but he’s got to improve on his ball handling skills.
    I saw them in the NP tournament he was not as shape as I look for. Never I say never think that Ingomar want be really for the next time that meet. It will be on a different court and another day. Believe me coach Ashley has seen them he will have those boys really to go. Check out what the young Carnell did against Jeremy Newsome’s aswell as the young Jarvis draining those three and Kyle Heard with his strong play. When it come playoff time the Falcon always soar to the top.

  2. ty1974

    Brad I went to that game last night i think the score would have been much worser if Newsome and Grady wasnt in foul trouble the whole first half. Most of Ingomar points came off free throws in that first Half. I went that game to see what kind of team Ingomar had and they Ok and i think they coach gives them an big Edged with his experience.If u look at okolona schedule in the begining I think they have played one of the toughest one in the area . likes of OLive branch, oxford , shannon twice, aberdeen twice, west Point, east oktibehha 1A state champs and Now Ingomar. I dont know too many teams that can come out of that without some losses

  3. ty1974

    i agree bulldawg Newsome is not in good shape at all. i think the young Guy carnell is gone be a good player but for now i dont think Ignomar match up to well with the Chieftains. When tournment time comes newsome will be in shape and i don thtink it gone matter if they playing in Ingomar or in a parking lot. i look at teams schedules and 1A team have some soft schedules and i wonder how good are those teams are; other than Myrtle who have mostly they same team from last year.

  4. jeffkcoach

    I hope you are right Brad. But, remember Divisions 1 and 2 are matched in 1st round. That itself will knock out several quality area teams. That is what happened in football.

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