VHS beats Biloxi, gears for Clinton in South State

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 4, 2002

Cassie Griffing of Vicksburg High gets ready to send the ball to Brandi Parker for the Missy Gators’ first goal as Biloxi’s Meghan Jonston defends Saturday at

Memorial Stadium.(The Vicksburg Post/C. TODD SHERMAN)

[02/03/02]Familiar foes will square off for the South State championship. Once again, Vicksburg High and Clinton will meet with a title on the line.

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Brandi Parker scored in the first four minutes, and Neely Nasif scored in the final four minutes to give the Missy Gators a 2-0 win over Biloxi (13-3-1) in the quarterfinals Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Clinton beat Gulfport 2-0 to advance to the semifinals, which will be at VHS at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The winner will play for the 5A state championship on Saturday.

The Missy Gators (16-2) have won four state championships during the tournament’s existence. They beat the Lady Arrows for the title last year.

“The potential’s there,” VHS coach Kevin Manton said when asked if this was a championship-caliber team.

Parker scored 31/2 minutes in with the first shot of the game on an assist from Cassie Griffing. The Missy Gators then missed 18 straight, several of which were nice set-ups. VHS outshot Biloxi, 29-2.

“We missed a lot of quality shots,” Manton said, noting that “they had 10 in the box. Maybe we’ll hit next week.”

The game was physical at times. VHS defender Leanne Fiebelman sat out the second half, her wrist wrapped with a possible hairline fracture, and Holly Head had to come out after taking a blow to the stomach.

“Maybe if it would have been rough in the first half, we would have gotten mad earlier,” said Biloxi coach Teresa Fernandez, who will lose only two seniors off the school’s first team to win a division championship. “I believed we were the team to possibly win the South State championship.”

VHS defender Beth Ashby who shut down the Lady Indians’ top player, Jeana Erickson got a yellow card late in the first half. Erickson had to leave the game after a midfield collision with Brandi Head aggravated a knee injury.

Biloxi’s Alina Santilla was hit with a yellow card after hitting VHS goalkeeper Viola Howard on a breakaway with just under 15 minutes to go. That came about five minutes after Nasif was elbowed by Biloxi goalie Cassie White on a breakaway.

“I was told that she would do that,” Manton said.

Nasif said, “I was mad that the referee didn’t call it.”

Nasif got yellow-carded with nine minutes left in the game. About a minute after she returned to the field, she took a pass from seventh-grader Jill Rush and kicked it by White with 4:06 left.

“I probably should have calmed down before I went back in,” said Nasif, one of six VHS seniors who have won three state titles.

“Hopefully, we can get one more.”