Williams shoots Lady Vikes into semis

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 4, 2002

Wendy Thomas of Warren Central tries to shoot over Jefferson County’s Paulesha McBride in the Lady Vikes’ 54-44 win. Thomas scored 12 points in the victory.(The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[12/28/01]JACKSON LaShanda Williams made sure Jefferson County coach Flora McKnight was singing the blues after McKnight refused to change uniforms.

Williams scored a team-high 18 points, including four 3-pointers, as the Lady Vikes (15-2) beat JC, 54-44, for a spot in the semifinals against Callaway this morning.

The Lady Vikes, the bottom team on the bracket, were scheduled as the visiting team and were supposed to wear dark uniforms, which they did.

Jefferson County, the home team, also showed up in blue uniforms.

The only difference in the two was gold lettering for JC and red lettering for WC.

After being asked for her players to wear red and white Forest Hill warmups, McKnight refused and both teams played in blue.

“That’s a (Jackson schools) problem, not us,” said McKnight, who added that she never received a letter that outlined the tournament’s setup. “They didn’t send me any communication. I don’t want to talk about it.”

Williams had little trouble deciphering all she saw was the white net.

Williams scored 10 in the first quarter as the Lady Vikes jumped out to a 14-7 lead at the end of the first. She was matched against sophomore RoShanda Coleman, playing for the starting point guard, who was at her grandfather’s funeral, McKnight said.

“I pushed the ball, and she couldn’t keep up with me,” said Williams, who beat Coleman up and down the court on almost every possession. “Every time I pushed it, I shot it or dished it off. It was an advantage to me.”

Wendy Thomas added 12 points and a pair of 3-pointers and JaQuita Benard was held to four points, but snagged 16 rebounds.

Shaterrica Hall led all scorers with 20 points and Paulesha McBride added 10 for the Lady Tigers (8-9). Jefferson County never led.

The Lady Tigers were just 3-of-17 shooting in the first quarter and went down by double digits early in the second quarter. Hall hit four straight free throws late in the second quarter to slice the lead from 12 to eight at the half, 27-19.

“We did enough to win and that’s what matters,” WC coach Donny Fuller said.

“I looked up there at halftime and they had four baskets, but hit 11 free throws. We were in a ton of foul trouble at the half.”

The Lady Vikes opened the third quarter on a 9-4 run, highlighted by a Thomas 3-pointer, for a 38-23 lead.

The Tigerettes got to within 10 early in the fourth, but never seriously threatened the rest of the game.

WC was scheduled to tip off this morning at 11:30. With a win over the Lady Chargers, WC will meet the Provine-Murrah winner at 6:30 tonight at Forest Hill for the JPS championship.

“We nonchalanted it a little bit and you can’t do that and win big games,” Fuller said. “We have to come ready to play because there are four really good teams left in this thing.”