Lady Vikes win WC Classic again

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 4, 2000

Lia Green, right, of Warren Central and East Side’s Shannon Smith collide, knocking the ball loose in Friday night’s finals of the Warren Central Classic. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

Warren Central coach Donny Fuller got his customary post-game hug from East Side coach Lucy Seaberry. Now, the veteran WC coach needs to start giving similar hugs to his post players.

JaQuita Benard led three Lady Vikes in double figures with 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead WC (8-1) to a 53-44 win over the Trojanettes (9-2) in the finals of the Warren Central Classic. The win marked the second straight tournament win for the hosts.

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Alabama-Birmingham signee Lia Green had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Wanda Calvin, a forward, had 11 points and nine boards. The Lady Vikes outrebounded East Side 43-17.

“Coach told us to go down low all day and that’s what we did,” Benard said.

Shant Stanford led East Side with 13 points, but after the Lady Vikes grabbed a 6-5 lead five minutes into the game, they would never relinquish it.

“They are so tall and physical that we tried to block out, but they are just two good athletes,” Seaberry said. “They controlled the inside all night long.”

WC held a 12-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, and built a 27-19 advantage at halftime.

Green had nine of her points in the first half, but Benard scored just four.

Benard exploded for 11 in the third as Warren Central increased its lead to 11 at the end of the third quarter.

“One of our keys to the game tonight was to pound the ball inside,” Fuller said. “I looked at last year’s tape and saw we did it then, too.”

The Lady Vikes held a 10-point lead most of the fourth quarter, but East Side managed to pull to within eight with 26 seconds to play, but with no timeouts, the Lady Vikes ran out the clock.

“It feels great to win this,” Green said.

“We’re 8-1 and all we have to do is keep playing together.”