Gators on other end of close one

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 11, 2002

Willie Powers of VHS pump-fakes as Northwest Rankin’s Justin Miller and Justin Mizner, right, defend in the Cougars’ 53-50 win.(The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[01/07/02]The Vicksburg Gators have been on the good side of several close wins this season.

On Friday night, they were n the other end.

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Freshman Jeremy Bibbs hit a running 15-footer with 2.5 seconds to go and Northwest Rankin added a pair of free throws after a Vicksburg (16-5) turnover for a 53-50 win.

The win avenged a pair of early season losses to Vicksburg both by double figures.

“We knew it was going to (Bibbs) and we tried to double team him, but he shot over the double team,” Vicksburg coach Dellie Robinson said. “He made a very tough shot in the lane.”

Bibbs inbounded the ball, then got a return pass, drove past a pair of Gators and shot a high, arching rainbow that hit nothing but net and gave the Cougars (9-11) the win.

“We’ve run that play four times this year and have won two games out of it,” Northwest Rankin coach Gary Post said. ” … The play called for him to throw the ball in, break to the goal if the 3 wasn’t there and that’s what happened.”

After Bibbs’ shot, the Gators stepped on the line while attempting to inbound the ball. Jeff Anderson, who had 14 points, was fouled and sank both free throws to ice the game.

“We were in a halfcourt man pickup defense,” Bibbs said of the final Gators’ possession. “Luckily, they threw the ball away.”

Vicksburg, which has made a habit out of winning close games, led most of the night and had opportunities to win. But the usually reliable free throw shooting went sour as VHS missed the front end of three straight one-and-ones in the final minute. On the night, VHS was 5-of-15 on free throws.

“Normally, we make free throws coming down the stretch,” Robinson said.

The Gators were led by Dewayne Jackson’s 20 points, while Willie Powers added 13 points all in the first half.

Vicksburg held a 30-23 lead going into halftime, but Northwest sliced the lead to 42-39 at the end of the third quarter.

The Gators went up by as many as seven 46-39 two minutes into the fourth, but managed just four points the rest of the way.

(G) VHS 56, NW Rankin 46

The frigid Vicksburg High gym paid dividends for the Missy Gators (12-9).

Vicksburg spent a little more than two minutes in the locker room at halftime and used a second-half spurt to put away the Lady Cougars (14-8).

“I told them it’s cold in this dressing room, we’re going to go back out and start shooting because that’s the only bad thing we’re doing,” VHS coach Mike Coleman said. “I thought we were executing our offense and playing good defense, but our shots weren’t falling.”

Tricia Dart scored 12 in the second half and Tiffany Hubbard added eight as the Missy Gators erased a 22-19 halftime deficit. LaToya Trunell pitched in 13 points.

VHS held Northwest to just six points in the third quarter while scoring 19 and went into the fourth with a 10-point lead.

Brandon transfer Lindsey Dukes scored a game-high 21. The Missy Gators held high-scoring guard Stephanie Bogans to just two points on a pair of free throws.