Gators throttle Provine, 87-57

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 1, 2000

Michael Hunt of Warren Central pulls down a rebound against Natchez. The Vikings lost, 70-52. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

Vicksburg High’s win Saturday over eighth-ranked Canton was no fluke, these Gators are for real.

Vicksburg opened a 26-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back in a 87-57 throttling of powerhouse Provine in the second round of the Coca-Cola Classic at VHS.

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The Rams (0-2), who won the 1998 Class 5A state championship, could not handle a relentless pressure defense by the Gators (3-0), who will meet highly touted Natchez on Thursday night for the tournament title at Warren Central.

“We haven’t beaten them in a long time,” said Gators’ forward Demetrick Allen, who led three players in double figures with 24 points and seven rebounds. “There are a lot of things I think we’re going to do this year that we haven’t done in a while and beating them is was one of those things.”

Miguel Henyard poured in 20 points and Gerrick Durrell had 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. The three led an impressive offensive showing in the first quarter as the Gators were 12-of-16 from the field in the opening quarter.

Defensively, Vicksburg held the cold-shooting Rams to just 2-of-17 in the opening quarter.

“It wasn’t that they were on fire, it was just that we couldn’t hit anything,” said Provine coach Luther Riley, whose team shot just 34 percent. “We’ve been having problems with our offense. That was it, we couldn’t score in the first half.”

Henyard and point guard Jason Walker harassed Provine into 16 first-half turnovers and extended the lead to 46-23 at the half.

“We had Port Gibson down by about 20 and got passive and they hit some 3s to get back into it,” VHS coach Dellie Robinson said.

Robinson had no such worries as his Gators, who shot 61 percent from the field, continued to build on the lead.

Midway through the third quarter, Vicksburg led 54-27, and extended that lead even further at the end of the third, 63-35.

Back-to-back thunderous dunks by Willie Powers and Patrick Igbokwe gave Vicksburg an 85-50 lead with less than two minutes to play.

Davian Dixon, who had 16 points for Provine, scored seven points late in the quarter, well after the game was out of hand.

“Our guards did a great job handling the ball, they are super-quick,” Robinson said. “… I thought Demetrick Allen is playing super for me right now. This is how I thought he would play as a freshman.”

After two wins over Jackson-area powers, the Gators’ road gets no easier with Natchez, a team that has breezed through the first two rounds of the tournament.

“Natchez is a tough, well-coached team,” Robinson said.

“… We will have to play well to win. One thing about us, though, is that we love to play at Warren Central.”

The Gators won five of six games at WC last year.

Provine 60, VHS 39

Provine (3-0) had four players in double figures, but still had to use a fourth quarter run to pull away from the pesky Missy Gators (1-2).

Tosha Christmas and Tonya Thomas each scored 15, while Victoria Anderson scored 12 and Dansby Thomas had 11 points in the win.

“Provine is one of the top seven or eight teams in Mississippi,” VHS coach Mike Coleman said. “They’ll get recognized soon. They just have a good team.”

Rae Evans and LaToya Trunell each scored six for Vicksburg. Three players had five points each.

The Missy Gators trailed by just nine at halftime and 11 at the end of the third quarter before the five-guard Lady Rams opened up the lead in the fourth.