State powers help WC, VHS tip off tournament

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 30, 2000

State powers on the boys and girls side will converge on Vicksburg High and Warren Central for a three-day, 14-team boys and girls tournament starting Monday.

Early wins by the boys at Warren Central and VHS have added an element of excitement to the tournament that features ranked teams in both the boys and girls brackets.

“This will be a very competitive tournament,” said WC assistant coach Kelvin Smith, whose Vikings beat South Jones in the opening game of the season, 73-42, on Thursday. “Provine and Natchez should be tough, and I think Vicksburg and Warren Central will be very tough.”

Jefferson County, which would have been the eighth team in the Coca-Cola Classic, dropped out late. No replacement was found.

The Provine boys team and Madison Central’s girls will get a first-round bye.

Vicksburg’s girls, who lost a double-overtime thriller, 67-66, in its opener against Terry on Saturday, will play Port Gibson tonight.

“They have a big girl (6-foot-2 Catronda Thornton) who will be tough,” second-year VHS coach Mike Coleman said. “Their guards were young last year, like ours, and they will be better this year.”

Coleman said a first-round matchup between ranked McComb and state power Provine should be one of the best girls games in the tournament.

“I’d have to say that McComb and Provine will be very strong and Warren Central will be tough,” he said. “Those are probably the three to beat.”

The Lady Vikes, who lost their opener to West Monroe (La.), face Natchez tonight.

One of the most intriguing possible matchups on the boys side is a prospective second-round matchup between Vicksburg and Provine.

The Gators, after claiming an upset of Canton, will play Port Gibson in the opener and, with a win, will face Provine at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

No games will be played on Wednesday. The boys championship game will be Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Warren Central, while the girls championship will be at Vicksburg on the same day.

“It should be a very exciting tournament for the fans to watch,” Smith said. “There are a lot of good teams.”