If you like defensive basketball game, you should have been at Neshoba Central’s home game against Canton Friday night as the Rockets took a 46-37 Region 3-5A victory.

The Rockets are now 1-0 in the region and 13-1 overall. The Neshoba Central girls took a 37-32 win over Canton and improved their record to 11-3.

The fact that the Rockets weren’t scoring in the first half did not concern Coach Jerry Bryd. The Rockets led 10-5 after the first quarter. The Tigers outscored them 6-4 in the second quarter and Neshoba Central led 14-11 at the half.

“We were getting shots but they just weren’t falling,” Byrd said. “They weren’t scoring either. I was really proud of the way we played defense. They weren’t getting many second shots and our kids did a great job with our defensive rebounding.”

Neshoba Central got its offense going in the second half. The Rockets outscored the Tigers 14-7 in the third quarter and carried a 28-18 lead into final eight minutes. There, both offenses started scoring with the Tigers having a 19-18 point edge. But the Rockets prevailed.

The Rockets hadn’t played since before Christmas. A game with Southeast Lauderdale slated earlier in the week was cancelled. It the past, Neshoba Central has played in holiday classics but Byrd said the team stayed home this season.

“We spent a good bit of time in the gym,” Byrd said. “The next three weeks are going to be very busy for us as we go through our region schedule and we had some things we needed to work out.”

Jacob McMillian led with 16 points while Josh Isaac added 11 points.

Neshoba Central will be on the road this week. They were to play at Holmes Central Tuesday night, and will then visit Cleveland on Friday.

Lady Rockets 37

Canton 32

The Lady Rockets held Canton to single digits in the first three quarters and then held off a late rally to go 1-0 in the region standings.

Again, though happy with the win, Coach Fred Morris stressed his team needed to more consistent play and more help from the bench.

“We need more positive play overall,” Morris said. “We are headed into the region grind and we have some tough games ahead. Everyone needs to be playing their best game.”

Leading 8-6 after the first quarter, the Lady Rockets outscored Canton 11-6 in the second period to expand their lead to 19-12 at the half. The Lady Rockets would add to their lead in the third quarter and carried a 28-18 lead into the final stanza. Canton scored some late baskets but Neshoba Central held on for the victory.

Taylor Ben and Jalesiya Jim both scored 11 points to lead the Lady Rockets while Carley Keats added 10 points.