Hat tricks by Hite, Hughes help WC

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2001

[01/10/01] Warren Central tuned up for a tough weekend by playing a tune on Murrah Tuesday night.

Andy Hite scored three goals in the first half, Matt Leavell added two in the second half and Michael Smith and Ricky Pennington each had two assists as the Vikings (9-5) outshot Murrah 22-9 and won 7-0.

“I think we played probably one of the better offensive games we’ve played all year tonight, and it couldn’t come at a better time,” WC coach Jay Harrison said. “We had some good practices over the Christmas break and it showed tonight.”

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The win sends WC into this weekend’s Top 10 Schools tournament as well as a Thursday showdown with defending state champion Northwest Rankin on a high note. WC will face Clinton at Pearl High Friday at 5:30 p.m. in its first game of the Top 10 tournament, and would turn around to play Brandon at 8:30 p.m. with a win.

The Vikings played both Northwest Rankin and Clinton tough earlier this season, but lost to each one.

“We’ve proved this year that we can play with anybody. We played the No. 1 team in the state to 2-0 and we played the No. 2 team in the state two days later to a 2-1 game here, leading 1-0 with 15 minutes left,” Harrison said. “We just haven’t been able to finish in those matches. That shows right there we can play with the top teams in the state, it just depends on if we show up and if we can put it in the net, and tonight we did a great job of that. So hopefully it’s going to continue.”

Against Murrah, the Vikings had no trouble finding the net and the game was finished early.

Hite notched his first goal less than four minutes into the game to give WC a 1-0 lead and had his hat trick before the fans’ propane heaters had even warmed up.

His shot from about 20 yards out hooked around Murrah’s goal keeper and another shot 10 minutes later found its way into the left side of the net, giving WC a 3-0 lead about 20 minutes into the first half.

Jake Artman made it 4-0 about 10 minutes later when he knocked in a cross, and Leavell padded the lead in the second half with his two goals.

Mitch Crawford also had a goal in the second half, and Hunt Gilliland, Chase Grogan and Daniel Sumerall each had one assist in the game.

(G) WC 8, Murrah 0

The Lady Vikes (9-6-1) took a while to get rolling, but then rolled right through the Lady Mustangs.

Kim Hughes had a hat trick, Hayley Martin notched two goals and an assist, Candis Beard had two goals, Melanie Mendrop had a goal and two assists and Lyndsey Junkin had two assists for WC in the win.

Aimee Claire Pettus also had a goal and Megan Carlisle added an assist for the Lady Vikes, who outshot Murrah 31-1.

After looking sluggish for the first 25 minutes, the Lady Vikes exploded late in the first half. WC, which took a 1-0 lead on Hughes’ first goal at the 14-minute mark, scored three goals in the last 12 minutes of the first half and three more in the first 10 minutes of the second.

“I seriously thought it was going to be a very close game or they were going to get us, because we were playing terrible,” WC coach Holly Lane said.