Green, Lady Vikes smother Madison

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 1, 2000

On Halloween night, Warren Central coach Donny Fuller got a nice treat from his Lady Vikes.

WC (2-1) used a smothering defense in the first half to open up a double-digit lead, then cruised to a 56-41 win over Madison Central (0-1) in the second round of the Coca-Cola Classic. It was Fuller’s 200th win as coach of the Lady Vikes and sent WC into Thursday’s championship game against Provine.

“The first half, we played about as well as we could play for this time of year,” said Fuller, whose team outrebounded MC 19-8 in the first half and held the Lady Jags to just 4-for-16 shooting while building a 32-11 halftime advantage.

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Lia Green led the Lady Vikes with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Wanda Calvin added 11 points and Wendy Thomas came off the bench to score nine.

Tenelda McDonald led MC with 17 points, but got into foul trouble early and scored only five in the first half. By the time she and the Lady Jags got going, WC had a 20-point lead.

“We knew (McDonald) was their best player, and because we knew that we wanted to take the ball inside and make them foul us and get to the line,” Fuller said.

Madison made a couple of small runs in the second half, but not enough to get back in the game.

The Lady Vikes regrouped each time, answered with enough points to safely keep the lead in double digits, then finished the game at the free-throw line. WC was 19-for-29 from the foul line, including 9-for-13 in the fourth quarter. Green led WC at the line, too, converting 10 of 12 free throw chances.

“Lia Green is playing extremely well right now, and she shot her free throws well, and that helped,” Fuller said.

(B) Natchez 70, WC 52

While Fuller got a treat, Natchez’s boys played some tricks on the Warren Central boys.

Kevin Coker and Michael Castellane each scored 14 points and Clifford Walker added 10 to lead WC (2-1), but it wasn’t enough to overcome 15 first-half turnovers and a deadly transition offense by Natchez.

“Turnovers the whole game. We didn’t handle the ball very well, and then transition defense from the start. They must have gotten 30 points off the break,” WC coach John Duett said, listing some of the reasons for the loss. “They have a fundamentally sound team, they’re well-coached, and you have to give them credit.”

The teams played an up-tempo, even first quarter with Natchez opening a 21-16 lead. WC was 8-for-10 from the field in the quarter, but made just 3-of-8 in the second as Natchez (2-0) extended the lead to 37-26 at the half.

Natchez’s Vasshun Newborne led the Bulldogs’ first-half charge with 16 and finished with 19. Je’Kel Foster picked up the pace, however, scoring nine of his 19 points in the second half. Foster also had four steals, five assists and six rebounds.

WC made several runs, but couldn’t put a serious dent in the deficit. The closest WC got was nine points, at 53-44, near the end of the third quarter.

“Every time we started to make a run, they’d get another breakaway,” Coker said. “They were in shape and ran the floor well. Hats off to a good team.”

In the fourth, Natchez played keep-away for the last four minutes and the tired Vikings couldn’t get anywhere near the ball. The lead stayed near 11 points for much of the quarter until some late free throws extended it.

“We just fight and we’re never going to stop whether we’re down by 30 or up by 20,” Coker said. “I’m proud of us for showing the fight.”