Trunell takes charge for VHS

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 22, 2000

LaToya Trunell of Vicksburg High pulls up for a jumper in front of Northwest Rankin’s Leigh Anne Foster. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

LaToya Trunell is quickly becoming the team leader Vicksburg High coach Mike Coleman has been searching for.

The junior scored all of her 12 points in the second half in leading the Missy Gators (3-5) to a 56-37 win over Northwest Rankin (2-4) on Tuesday.

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“I’m proud of her right now,” Coleman said. “She has taken that role of being a team leader … she has a winning attitude.”

After a lethargic first half by both teams, Trunell hit 5 of 7 shots and two free throws in the second half to help the Missy Gators pull away, but it didn’t happen until leading scorer Shalonda Williams left the game with a bruised knee with 4:30 left to play in the third.

“We cut down on our turnovers and picked our game up,” Trunell said. “Coach told us to play hard and play good defense.”

After Williams went out, VHS went on a 15-2 run to end the half leading 41-29. Kamekia Linzy scored 12 points and highlighted the rally with the first of her two 3-pointers in the third.

Leigh Anne Foster led Northwest Rankin with 13 points, while Paige Mellons and Stephanie Boggans each had 10. The Lady Cougars had just seven players.

“I could tell we were getting tired,” Northwest Rankin coach Felicia Lofton said. “They gave me all they could, but they just ran out of gas.”

The Lady Cougars scored just five in the third as the Missy Gators held a nine-point lead.

Trunell’s eight points and Linzy’s seven most on open shots resulting from relentless full court man-to-man defense highlighted a 20-point fourth for VHS. The Lady Cougars managed just 10 points in the final quarter.

The Missy Gators play host to Madison Central at 6 p.m.

“Everyone was hustling their tails off …” Coleman said.

(B) VHS 52, NW Rankin 46

Northwest Rankin’s one-dimensional offense and poor shooting opened the door for Vicksburg. The Gators (5-4) just slipped through.

Patrick Lindsey scored a game-high 23, including all 17 first-half Cougars’ points, but the rest of the team struggled mightily.

Besides Lindsey, the Cougars (4-4) shot a combined 9-for-24 from the field for the game.

“That was it,” said Northwest Rankin coach Gary Post, who agreed over the summer to coach St. Aloysius before changing his mind and going to the Brandon school. “It doesn’t take a sports writer or an analyst to figure that out.”

The Gators had almost as much trouble as they held just a 19-17 lead at the half after Dewayne Jackson hit a layup at the buzzer.

Miguel Henyard led the Gators with 14 points, while Demetrick Allen netted 13 nine in the second half.

“We’ll take it,” Vicksburg coach Dellie Robinson said. “We won’t complain. I thought against Raymond we lost the game in the first half. Tonight, we came out with some energy in the first half and then slowed the pace down a bit.”

Allen netted eight points in the third quarter as the Gators built a 37-27 lead.

The Cougars made a run in the fourth, pulling to within six several times.

With just 15 seconds to play, Reggie Walker hit a 3-pointer for the visitors to get the score to 50-46, but Henyard nailed a pair of free throws to ice it.

“(Our team) is very nerve-racking because they’ll play well for five or six minutes and then get caught up in their own game,” Robinson said.