Twin towers out to turn Lady Vikes back in right direction

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 1, 2000

Warren Central girls coach Donny Fuller hates to lose.

Now, if he can only get his players to share his disdain for losses, he should rebound from last year’s disappointing 12-19 season.

“We better not go through another one,” Fuller said with a smile. “I’m not happy losing and if any of our kids are, they shouldn’t be with us.”

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Judging by the final minutes of their opening loss to West Monroe on Monday, Fuller shouldn’t have too much of a problem.

The Lady Vikes return all five starters from last year’s team, but several players just joined the team from the softball field and several others are still football cheerleaders.

The nucleus is on the floor, however, and will make a formidable test for any opponent.

Lia Green, an Alabama-Birmingham signee, stands 6-foot-2 and has the ability to dominate the post. JaQuita Benard, a 6-foot junior, clogs up the middle and is virtually automatic when she gets the ball under the basket.

West Monroe coach Donnie Quinn said the two were, “impossible to guard.”

Fuller knows, and expects, that teams will begin to crowd the middle to stop them. That’s where sharpshooters Kim Smith and Wanda Calvin come in.

“Teams will say, if you’re going to beat us, fine, beat us from the outside,’ ” Fuller said. “That’s when our outside shooters need to step it up.”

Point guard LaShanda Williams, who scored nine points Monday after playing in the state softball tournament on Saturday, leads the Lady Vikes’ offense. The lightning-quick junior sets the tempo for the offense.

After the top five, the Lady Vikes will open a seasoned bench.

On Monday, Warren Central used 13 players.

Everyone will be called on as the Lady Vikes battle through another tough division race. Greenville still has a host of 3-point shooters and Gentry will be extremely athletic, Fuller said. Vicksburg High, under second-year coach Mike Coleman, will be much improved, Fuller said.

“Gentry’s a team that always has potential because they have such good athletes,” Fuller said. “They are the type of team that can play extremely well.”

Fuller’s squad will play non-conference games against defending state champion Raymond as well as Clinton and a strong Ouachita (La.) team.

Fuller has requested several different teams for the Red Carpet Classic, including state powers Tupelo and Murrah, but he hasn’t received any commitments.

“Sometimes we have had trouble getting teams to come here and play us,” Fuller said. “Hopefully they won’t now. A lot of it was because we hadn’t been beaten in the thing, but now we have, so come on and play us.”