Gators slow down red-hot Raymond

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 4, 2000

Oh, what a difference a week made for the Vicksburg Gators.

After being throttled by state power Raymond at VHS on Nov. 17, the Gators held the Rangers 51 points under its average in advancing to the finals of the Warren Central Classic with a 46-35 win.

Demetrick Allen and Jason Walker each scored 10 points, but it was the ability of Walker and guard Miguel Henyard to handle a suffocating Rangers’ defense that made the difference.

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“Last time we tried to get into a track meet with them,” Henyard said. “This time, we tried to slow the tempo down and keep the pace to our level.”

The Rangers (6-2), who had 40 points at halftime of their 75-64 win over the Gators a week ago, had just four at the end of the first quarter and scored just seven in the third.

“We’re not running our offensive sets well and if we can’t do that, we’re not going to win,” said Raymond coach Ron Hines, whose team was fresh off a win against Clinton. “When we’re shooting the basketball well we’re doing good and when we’re stealing the basketball we’re doing good. But when you have a little kid like (Walker) that you can’t really trap and big guys down low blocking out, it’s tough.”

Former Warren Central standout Nick Thompson had 11 to lead Raymond, while Tommy Hunter added 10. The Rangers shot just 25 percent from the field.

“We have never scored 35 points in a game before,” Hines said. “This was unreal.”

Thompson hit a pair of shots for the only Raymond points in the first quarter, but a Walker trey and six points from Allen gave Vicksburg a 13-4 lead after the first.

Raymond cut the lead to 22-16 at the half, but scored just seven points in the third and Vicksburg held a 31-23 lead.

Raymond got to within five, 40-35, with 10 seconds to play. After the basket, they called a time out, but did not have any left resulting in a technical foul. Walker hit a pair of free throws, then Dewayne Jackson nailed a pair of foul shots to ice it. Vicksburg converted 9 of 11 free throws in the fourth.

“We wanted to keep the score around 50 and we thought we had a good chance,” Vicksburg coach Dellie Robinson said. “I thought if we could slow it down, we had the advantage.”

(B) East Side 58, WC 49

Three was certainly the un-magic number for the Vikings (5-3).

WC converted just 6-of-22 3-pointers in a loss to Class 4A East Side, sending the host team to the loser’s bracket where they will meet Raymond at 5:30 p.m.

Clifton Walker led the Vikings with 11 points and Sherman Logan netted nine.

“We were getting beat on the baseline early and I knew we had to step up our intensity,” East Side coach Tevora Griffin said. “We were able to do some things in the second half.”

Eric Cameron led all scorers with 15, while Chantes Johnson netted 14 and Reveil Bradley scored 12.

Warren Central, behind a Carlton Bradford basket with 2:11 left in the first half, went up 24-23, but East Side went on a 5-0 run to end the half. The Trojans (4-4) did not trail the rest of the game.

Newellton a no-show

East Side (9-1) advanced to the tournament finals without even taking the floor.

Shante Stanford hit a free throw 45 minutes after the game was supposed to start to beat Newellton (2-5).

The Lady Bears, led by former St. Aloysius coach Noah Hamilton, did not show up for the opening game Thursday afternoon. After 45 minutes, the game was ruled a forfeit.