Evans’ 3 punctuates VHS’big win over Port Gibson

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 18, 2001

[12/15/01]Rae Evans added a little bit of drama to one of the most lopsided games of Vicksburg High’s season.

The senior center hit her first career varsity 3-pointer on a play designed for guards. It was a fitting exclamation point on the Missy Gators’ 70-32 win over Port Gibson Friday night.

During a water break at practice last week, VHS (10-7) coach Mike Coleman saw her draining 3-pointers. He half-jokingly said let’s run the play “purple” for Evans.

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She nailed it.

“I told her I was going to call it if we got up by a lot,” said Coleman, whose team led 19-1 at the end of the first quarter and held the Lady Waves without a basket until the 2:49 mark of the second quarter.

Leading 42-11 midway through the third, Coleman called the play for Evans.

She got the ball about 8 feet from the baseline, shot and hit nothing but net, setting off the loudest cheer of the night.

“I thought I was going to miss it,” said Evans, wearing a smile as big as VHS’ margin of victory. “When it went in, then I was hyped.”

Evans, who said she originally shook off Coleman’s call because she was afraid to miss, helped her teammates earlier in the week as well. Having to do nine sprints, Coleman told his team that if Evans could hit a 3-pointer, the team could leave without running.

Of course, Evans nailed the shot.

The big question, though, is: Will the play become part of the team’s regular repertoire?

“No indeed,” said Evans, who finished with nine points.

After Evans’ shot, the Missy Gators substituted the second and third teams.

“It was a blowout,” first-year Port Gibson (2-8) coach Tracy Cook said. “We needed execution from our seniors and tonight, they just didn’t show up.”

Using a relentless half-court defense, Vicksburg caused 21 first-half turnovers and limited the visitors to two free throws in the first 13 minutes of the game in building a 37-8 halftime lead.

“Our trap was working really good,” Coleman said. “I knew Port Gibson had a good inside game, but I had heard their guards were a little shaky.”

Catronda Thornton led the Lady Waves with 11 points nine in the fourth quarter and Amina Palmer had six. Port Gibson shot 24 percent from the field for the game and 12 percent in the first half.

Tricia Dart scored 11 of her game-high 13 in the first half and Katina Cooper came off the bench to score 10. In all, 17 Missy Gators played.

“Everyone played good tonight,” Coleman said. “Numbers one through 17.”

(B) VHS 55 Port Gibson 47

In close games, the Vicksburg Gators just seem to find a way to win.

Trailing at the half, the Gators (14-3) got 12 second-half points from Chris Humes and Willie Powers scored 14 to beat the Waves (5-10).

“That’s become our motto this season: find a way to win the basketball game,” Vicksburg coach Dellie Robinson said.

“Throughout the game, we’ll have a mental lapse where we don’t play well, then all of a sudden someone makes a steal or hits a big shot.

“Chris Humes and Willie Powers, our two seniors, really stepped it up for us.”

The win erased a 22-point performance from Ocie Brown, who nailed four 3-pointers and was set up for a shot late in the game that would have pulled Port Gibson closer.

Trailing 51-47 with 30 seconds to play, the Gators’ defense smothered Brown and forced a turnover that led to a pair of free throws that salted the game away.

“There was no way (we were going to let him shoot,” Robinson said. “We knew coming in he could shoot the basketball and we tried to get some pressure on him. He hit some outstanding shots.”

Lemira Scott added 10 points for the Gators and Powers’ 14 came on 7-of-8 shooting. He hit his first seven shots.

Vicksburg took its halftime deficit and outscored the Waves 18-6 in the third quarter. Port Gibson never led again.