Division tournaments tip off tonight

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 13, 2001

[02/13/01]The formula for tonight’s first rounds of the Division 3-5A and 7-1A tournaments is simple: survive and advance.

Vicksburg and Warren Central’s boys and girls teams all have a shot at moving on to the division championship game, which also guarantees a trip to the state tournament.

For St. Aloysius, things are a little more complicated.

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The Flashes and Lady Flashes each need to win two games for a shot to move ahead in the Class 1A state tournament.

“We need to win today or we come back to the house,” said WC girls coach Donny Fuller, whose team has lost two of its last three. “Gentry is as athletic a team as we’ll see all year.”

The Lady Vikes (22-9) beat Gentry in overtime one week ago after blowing a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter. WC lost its last game of the year on Friday to No. 3 Raymond by just four points in overtime.

The Vikings (14-14) will play the host team in the 8:30 contest. WC beat Greenville at home, but lost to the Hornets the lone time they played in the Delta.

Division champion Vicksburg (22-9) starts its run for a second straight division tournament title against Gentry, a team the Gators split with in the regular season.

“The last time we didn’t shoot the ball real well,” Vicksburg coach Dellie Robinson said. “The main thing tonight is that we have to hit our outside shots and we need to do a better job on the boards.”

The Missy Gators (14-17) have the most daunting task of the four as they face four-time defending division champion Greenville.

Vicksburg coach Mike Coleman said his team’s recent play wins over Warren Central and a come-from-behind win over Brandon on Friday have his Missy Gators in as good a position as ever.

“Our girls know what’s at stake,” Coleman said. “I think all the pressure is on Greenville. Any time a number four seed plays a number one, the pressure is on the number one. I think we had a decent regular season, but everyone starts out 0-0 now. I feel good. We’re ready to play.”

Coleman said he has a plan to slow down the Honey Bees’ outside shooting, but would not elaborate.

While one win advances a team in Division 3-5A, St. Al has to win tonight, then on Thursday to advance.

The Flashes (7-17) open against third-seeded Madison-St. Joe, a team that has beaten St. Al three times this year.

“Maybe the fourth time’s a charm,” Flashes’ coach Paul Hayden said with a chuckle. “I think anyone can win this. There is not one team more dominant than everyone else.”

The Lady Flashes (12-12) open up against West Lincoln, a team St. Al split with in the regular season.

Originally scheduled to be played at Dexter, the tournament was moved to Tylertown High because the accommodations were better, Hayden said.