Lady Vikes hang on at Clinton; Arrows roll

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 17, 2000

CLINTON Playing at the junior high because of a scheduling conflict didn’t affect Warren Central in the slightest.

Wendy Thomas, who came off the bench to score four fourth-quarter points, converted a layup with 34 seconds left as the Lady Vikes (5-2) beat the Lady Arrows, 53-50.

Thomas’ basket gave WC a 51-50 lead and with 17 seconds left. Highly touted guard Toya George, who led all scorers with 26 points and 14 rebounds, missed the front end of a one-and-one and before the Lady Arrows (4-2) could foul, JaQuita Benard took a long pass and converted a layup for a 53-50 lead.

Clinton turned the ball over on their final possession and the Lady Vikes ran out the clock.

“I was proud of our kids to come on the road like this and win,” WC coach Donny Fuller said. “This is a big win for us.”

Benard, who scored eight points, also grabbed 12 rebounds. University of Alabama-Birmingham signee Lia Green scored a team-high 12 points including eight in the fourth quarter and Wanda Calvin added 10 for WC.

Although George scored 26, she struggled from the field. The Lady Arrows were just 4-for-30 in the first half and George was just 1-for-16. WC held a 21-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“We have a very inexperienced team,” Clinton coach Gary Miller said. “This was good experience for us and hopefully we’ll learn from this.”

WC scored just four points in the second quarter, but still held a 25-17 lead at halftime.

Increased defensive pressure forced the Lady Vikes into four straight turnovers to open the third quarter as Clinton battled back. It wasn’t until 13 seconds into the fourth quarter, however, that a George basket gave the hosts a 37-36 lead.

“They got to the free-throw line and they got the ball into (George’s) hands,” Fuller said. “She’s a great player and we knew we had to stop her.”

Fuller guarded the fleet-footed George with Calvin and told his other players if the player they were guarding didn’t have the ball to double team George.

She scored half of her points in the final nine minutes of the game, but converted just 1 of 3 free throw chances in the closing moments.

The Lady Vikes will be on the road for the third straight game Tuesday against Port Gibson.

(B) Clinton 86, WC 49

The Arrows (6-0) erupted in the first quarter for 20 points, including four dunks, and never looked back in their blowout of the Vikings (4-2).

Jarckus Singleton and Patrick Veal each scored 18 to lead four players in double figures. Adrian Harper added 15 and Colby Harris netted 13.

“That was just a good-ole country whoopin’ right there,” WC coach John Duett said. “They jumped all over us from the get-go and we never recovered.”

The high-flying Arrows raced out to a 12-2 lead behind three monstrous slam dunks.

Clifford Walker’s basket with 2:43 left in the quarter ended a 14-0 Clinton run, but the Vikings still trailed 16-4.

Clinton held a 38-18 lead at halftime before WC, behind 14 points each from Kevin Coker and Sherman Logan, made a slight comeback.

The Vikings cut the lead to 16 with 5:49 left in the third quarter, but a pair of Harper 3-pointers late in the quarter pushed the lead to 58-32.

“I don’t think we quit and we played hard, we just didn’t play smart,” Duett said. “They are very athletic, quick and can jump. I thought it would be a much closer game, but obviously it wasn’t.”

The Vikings will be at Port Gibson on Monday.