Vikings smoke Madison Central; Lady Vikes hang on

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 6, 2000

Warren Central coach John Duett made sure the referees had their running shoes on before tip-off Tuesday night.

It’s a good thing they did.

The Vikings (6-4) sprinted past Madison Central for the third time this year, 71-47.

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Four WC guards Carlton Bradford, Kevin Coker, Clifton Walker and Michael Hunt combined for 34 points while Sherman Logan and Justin Green had 13 apiece.

“We’ve got the numbers to push it up the floor,” Duett said. “That’s been our game plan. We’ve got a lot of different people picking us up every night. As a coach, you like to see that because it keeps teams from keying on one person.”

After getting off to a slow start, WC bounced back late in the first quarter. Logan came off the bench to nail a 3-pointer to make it 12-10 and give the Vikings the lead for good. Bradford hit seven of his nine points in the second quarter as WC led 35-25 at the break.

The Vikings came out smoking in the second half. Ignited by an alley-oop slam on an inbounds pass from Coker to Green, they outscored MC 18-4 in the third quarter. WC hit 8 of 11 shots from the field as they pulled away. They made 45 percent (27-of-60) of their shots for the game.

None of the 11 Jaguars (3-7) who scored made it to double figures. They hit only 27 percent from the field (15 of 56) while barely topping 50 percent from the free-throw line (14 of 27).

“We’ve just got lot of guys that want to see their names in the paper,” said MC coach James Harris. “They try to do things they can’t do.”

Green hit 6 of 9 shots from the field, including two dunks, and had nine rebounds and three blocks for WC, which led by as much as 29.

Walker scored all eight of his points in the second half and Coker and Hunt had four assists apiece.

WC faces Ouachita Friday.

(G) WC 43, Madison 39

The outcome was prettier than the trip for the Lady Vikes (9-1), who never could shake Madison Central.

JaQuita Benard made a big rebound and partially blocked a shot in the final seconds to help make a three-point lead hold up. Wanda Calvin then hit a free throw with less than a second to go to put it away.

Benard, nursing a pulled muscle in her leg, scored all eight of her points in the second half, including crucial putbacks on back-to-back possessions as MC (6-7) pulled within three.

“When Quita wants the ball … she can’t be stopped,” Fuller said.

Lia Green led WC with 11 points and three blocks. Benard also chippd in eight rebounds, two steals and a block.

The Lady Vikes’ lead hovered between five and nine throughout the third.

But Tanelda McDonald, who finished with a game-high 20, opened the fourth with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to three.

A big jumper by Wendy Thomas and free throws by Green and Calvin made it a nine-point game again, 42-33, with 1:14 left. But another 3 by McDonald and a basket by Danielle Hoeffner, who finished 13, cut it to four. After WC missed four free throws, McDonald hit one from the line to make it 42-39.

Benard grabbed the rebound and tossed the ball downcourt for what should have been an easy layup, but WC missed. She also partially blocked a shot attempt by McDonald.

“We missed some key free throws and layups that would have won it for us a lot earlier,” Fuller said. “I guess they are trying to give me a heart attack.”

He’ll get his revenge in practice. WC players have to run line drills for every free throw they miss.

MC coach Shay Jackson said she wasn’t surprised her girls rallied.

“These are some of the scrappiest individuals you’ll ever meet,” she said, noting that mixing up her defenses helped them get back in it. “We just needed another second.”