WC wins Wilson’s fast-paced debut

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 29, 2001

Clifford Walker of WC goes around Bailey’s John Toor at Raymond in the Vikings’ first game of the year.(The Vicksburg Post/C. TODD SHERMAN)

[10/28/01]Preston Wilson’s debut with the Warren Central Vikings was explosive and at times heart-stopping.

Most importantly, though, is that it ended with a win.

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Clifford Walker scored a team-high 24 and Sherman Logan added 20 as the new-look Vikings (1-0) beat Bailey Magnet, 82-77, at the Raymond Halloween

Classic.

“We did a good job on the fast break and running the basketball,” said Wilson, who came to Warren Central from Brookhaven. “We’ll have to do a better job blocking out and maintaining the basketball down the stretch.”

WC held a 79-74 lead with 33 seconds left in the game, but hit just one of its last six free throws, leaving the door open for Bailey.

A 3-pointer by Gance Bennett pulled the Knights (0-1) to 80-77 with 12 seconds left to play. With three starters on the bench, Bailey tried to get Bennett, who led all scorers with 31 points and 13 rebounds, open for a game-tying trey.

“We tried to get him coming off a double screen, but he came over too quick before the screen got there,” said Bailey coach Darren Chancellor, who starred at Southern Miss, 1987-91.

The ball instead went to Demeatris Simmons, who had 12 points, but dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds with two seconds to play.

Ronnie Jones, who had 15 points and six steals, hit a pair of free throws to ice the game.

“We wanted to put pressure on them defensively and have the offense push the ball,” said Walker, who had four of the Vikings’ nine 3-pointers.

“I like running it up and down the floor. I like scoring a lot of points and we can get better that way.”

The Vikings had 10 steals and forced 23 turnovers. They took the lead, 17-16, with 50 seconds left in the first quarter. After holding a 21-17 lead at the end of the quarter, WC did not trail the rest of the game.

WC built the lead to 46-41 at the half and stretched it to double figures in the third quarter.

Behind Bennett, though, Bailey pulled to a 74-74 tie with 3:39 left in the game. A Walker basket and three points from Logan upped the lead back to five late.

“The coaches pushed us a lot in practice getting us ready for this one,” Walker said. “But we still need to improve.”

The Vikings will host Madison Central Monday at 8:30 p.m. in the opening round of the Coca-Cola Classic.

(B) Vicksburg 41, Terry 27

The Gators jumped to a 13-2 first-quarter lead and went on to win their opener at the Lanier Classic, thanks to strong performances in the post. Dewayne Jackson had 14 rebounds and Patrick Igbokwe had 11 as VHS “controlled the boards in the first half,” Gators coach Dellie Robinson said. VHS is without its top two guards, D’Eldrick Taylor and Chris Humes, who also star on the football team.

Devin Jones and Willie Powers had nine points apiece for VHS and Jackson chipped in seven before fouling out early in the fourth quarter.

“We looked pretty good,” Robinson said.

Jarrett Brown led Terry with a game-high 10 points.

VHS hosts Port Gibson at 8:30 p.m. Monday in the Coca-Cola Classic.

(G) Choctaw Cen. 72, VHS 48

The Missy Gators outscored the home team in the first and fourth quarters, but “they just whupped us in the second and third,” VHS coach Mike Coleman said. “They’re everywhere. They make you rush your shot. If there are 12 teams in the state better than them, I want to see them.”

Shalonda Williams had 11 points and Tricia Dart added eight. Chantay Frazier led Choctaw Central, ranked No. 13 in The Clarion-Ledger, with 14 points. VHS outscored Choctaw 17-13 in the first quarter and 14-12 in the fourth. But the Lady Warriors rolled 47-17 in the second and third.

VHS was 20-of-43 from the free-throw line.