VHS squads double up ranked Clinton

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Keisha Truly of Vicksburg High pulls down a rebound in front of Clinton’s LaToya George.(The Vicksburg Paper/C. TODD SHERMAN)

[01/23/02]As if beating No. 15 Clinton wasn’t hard enough, Vicksburg boys coach Dellie Robinson had some extra pressure.

“I told him we held up our end of the bargain, now it’s your turn,” VHS girls coach Mike Coleman said after the Missy Gators’ 72-54 win over the Lady Arrows.

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Robinson’s Gators (18-6, 2-2 Division 6-5A) delivered.

Chris Humes hit a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds to play in regulation and the Gators scored 16 in overtime to shock the Arrows, 78-71.

“This is just a great night for Vicksburg basketball,” Coleman said. “Tonight was fun.”

Humes, one of four Vicksburg players in double figures with 11, took the rebound off a Jerekus Singleton missed free throw with Vicksburg trailing 62-59. With no timeouts, Humes drove the floor and shot an off-balance, double-pump 3-pointer that went through as the horn sounded.

“I thought they were going to call it a two,” Humes said. “I landed on the other side of the line, but they said 3.”

The Gators, who were beaten 46-30 the last time the teams met, scored 30 in the fourth quarter and 16 in overtime.

“That’s the best we’ve had all year,” Robinson said with a laugh. “We’re not used to that kind of scoring, but we’re not used to giving up that many points, either.”

Dewayne Jackson led VHS with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Devin Jones had 15 points before fouling out and L.J. Scott scored 10.

The Gators also excelled from the free throw line, hitting 13 of 15 in the last three minutes of regulation and overtime.

Conversely, the Arrows were 7 of 14 in that same span.

Scott, Willie Powers and Jackson each had baskets to start the overtime as Vicksburg took a 69-62 lead. Clinton cut the lead to 72-69 on a Singleton 3-pointer.

Singleton led Clinton with 30 points, while Patrick Veal had 13 and Coby Harris had 12.

Jamaal Thomas hit a pair of free throws, then Jackson, who picked up his fourth foul midway through the fourth quarter, had back-to-back layups to end the game.

“This is better than beating Warren Central,” Jackson said. “Warren Central is good, but we can beat them and we know that. Tonight we had to prove ourselves. Tonight we got respect.”

Getting to overtime seemed a chore in itself for Vicksburg as Clinton (18-7, 3-2) took the lead early in the first quarter and led through three quarters. Clinton led 25-21 at the half, but the Gators had momentum going into the locker room thanks to a thunderous alley-oop from Jones to Powers.

After Vicksburg tied the game at 25, Clinton went on a 16-7 run to hold a nine-point lead at the end of the third.

“Clinton has a team good enough to win a state championship,” Robinson said. “They are no slouch team. I give all the credit in the world to our kids because they did a super job especially in the fourth quarter.”

(G) VHS 72, Clinton 54

LaToya George might want to rethink her comments to a Jackson television station after her 15th-ranked Clinton Lady Arrows (18-5, 2-3 Division 6-5A) beat VHS by 34 at the Northwest Rankin Tournament.

George said that she wished there was some competition there, something Vicksburg players took personally.

“There she was talking about how she wished there was some competition,” said Vicksburg’s Rae Evans, who had 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting. “I should have asked her after the game if that was competition enough.”

Evans led Vicksburg (13-12, 1-3) with a team-high 15 points, LaToya Trunell scored 13, Tricia Dart had 12 and Tiffany Hubbard had 10.

“We went down and beat Natchez and come back and think all we have to do is show up (to beat Vicksburg) and that wasn’t the case,” Clinton coach Gary Miller said. “I knew Vicksburg had a good basketball team and they deserved it. … They whipped us in every phase of the game.”

None was more glaring than the fourth quarter, though. Shayla White nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Missy Gators a 51-49 lead going into the fourth quarter.

VHS then outscored Clinton 21-2 before the Lady Arrows hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, well after VHS gained control.

“We were more prepared, played team ball and were just ready for them,” Hubbard said. “We knew before we could beat them, but weren’t focused in. Tonight, we were focused.”

George, who has committed to Louisiana Tech, scored a game-high 23 points and Markessa Hughes had 15 on five 3-pointers. Hughes, though, missed her last eight shots and George went scoreless in the fourth quarter.

The Missy Gators will travel to first-place Natchez on Friday night.