Gators top Hill indouble overtime

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 5, 2001

LaToya Trunell of Vicksburg High pulls down a rebound in front of Forest Hill’s Nikki Shaw.(The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[12/05/01]When Vicksburg High needed a spark, coach Dellie

Robinson turned to his ailing leader.

Senior Willie Powers, who sat out the first 31 minutes of the game nursing an injured groin muscle, hit a 3-pointer with a minute to go in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime, and the Gators eventually beat Forest Hill in two overtimes, 65-57.

Powers came off the bench with 1:12 left in the fourth and the game tied at 48.

“I was wide open so I felt like I could hit it,” Powers said. “I think I was open because I hadn’t played all night.”

DeMario Eley hit a 3-pointer and the Gators missed a baseline shot as time expired to send the game into the first overtime.

It was Powers’ basket, though, that inspired Vicksburg (12-2).

“He wanted to play bad, but I knew he couldn’t go,” Robinson said. “I looked at him and saw that look in his eye. I really thought that 3 was the difference in the game. That changed things for us.”

Powers’ 3 wasn’t the only big long-range shot Vicksburg had to hit to beat the Rebels (4-10).

After Markell Felder who had 14 points, 14 rebounds and four steals had a tip-in to give the visitors a 51-48 lead, Roy Williams buried a 3-pointer with 8.5 seconds left to send the game into a second overtime.

“We hit the big 3 to tie it back up, so I thought we had the momentum heading into the second overtime,” Robinson said.

The Gators got the opening tip of the second OT and Devin Jones, who had 13 points and six steals, hit a layup followed quickly by a Dewayne Jackson layup as the Gators went up 55-51.

Forest Hill never came back as the Gators outscored the Rebels 14-6. The Rebels hit just 3 of 9 shots in the second overtime.

“That was it,” Forest Hill coach Bobby Gates said of his team’s shooting struggles.

James Eubank led all scorers with 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocks, but he fouled out in the first overtime.

“That was huge for us because he was dominating the boards,” Robinson said. “They were getting second and third shots and once he fouled out, that really helped us.”

Lemira Scott added 12 points for Vicksburg, while Jackson had nine points and 10 rebounds and Williams had 12 points. The Gators also connected on 15 of 22 free throws including 10 in the two overtimes.

“Free throws make a big part of the game,” said Jones, who hit 3 of 4 in the final OT. “Free throws and defense wins games.”

Using a 2-3 zone, the Rebels held Vicksburg’s big men Jackson and Patrick Igbokwe to 13 points combined.

“We stepped up a lot tonight,” Jones said. “They shut down the big men because they were double-teaming them most of the night. Fortunately, they were leaving us open to penetrate and shoot.”

The Gators, who have won eight straight, will host Humphreys

County on Friday.

(G) VHS 63, F. Hill 44

Marguerite Sims scored a game-high 21 points and hit 9 of 10 free throws as the Missy Gators (8-6) rolled to their sixth win in eight games.

Tiffany Hubbard and Rae Evans added eight points each as VHS opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter and held it most of the night. Vicksburg used 15 players.

“The big difference in her tonight was her free throws,” Vicksburg coach Mike Coleman said of Sims. “That helped the cause a lot.”

Forest Hill, which was led by Nikita Legett’s 15 points, hit only 7 of 22 free throws.

Vicksburg held a 32-21 lead at the half, but seven straight turnovers to start the second half led to four Forest Hill points as the Lady Rebels cut the lead to 34-25.

Vicksburg again took a double-digit lead and never looked back.

“About halfway through the quarter, I knew we had more turnovers than shots taken,” Coleman said.

“We have to do a better job taking care of the ball.”