Lady Vikes win nailbiter over Tigers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 14, 2002

Chi-Chi Ezekwe of Warren Central (34) tips in a shot for two of his game-high 24 points as teammate Ronnie Jones, left, assists. Looking on are Cleveland’s Jarvis Farmer, middle, and Brandon Smith. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[11/14/02]Carla Latham and Dorothy Jenkins stepped up Wednesday night when Warren Central needed it most.

The two combined for 12 of the team’s 18 points in the fourth quarter as Warren Central came back to beat McComb, 59-58, in the opening round of the Coca-Cola Classic.

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“We’ve got some players in the same positions that give us different things and we’re going to have to play them like that,” WC coach Donny Fuller said. “I thought they both hit some huge shots.”

Jenkins ended the game with 11, while Latham had 14 and Cookie Johnson had eight.

Latham’s layup tied the game at 50 midway through the fourth and she quickly gave WC the lead 52-50 with a breakaway layup.

The Lady Vikes (1-0) held a three-point lead, 59-56, with five seconds on the clock and had two free throw chances to ice the game. After the second miss, McComb’s Samantha Felder drove the length of the court and instead of trying a game-tying 3-pointer, she drove the lane for a layup as time expired.

“I just grinned,” Fuller said. “I saw her go to the basket and I said, let her go and please don’t foul her.'”

The Lady Vikes could have put the game away much earlier, but atrocious free-throw shooting allowed McComb to build big leads in the third and fourth quarters. WC made 3-of-12 in the fourth quarter and 7-of-26 for the game.

“The one area of the game that I thought we were ever more pitiful in was free-throw shooting,” Fuller said. “A blind man could have made more free throws than we did.”

McComb led by two at halftime of the very physical game with few fouls called. The Lady Tigers upped the lead to seven going into the fourth quarter.

“I coached in the SEC and I considered that one of the most physical leagues in the country, but that ballgame tonight had nothing on any Tennessee-Ole Miss game I was ever in,” said Fuller, a former Ole Miss assistant. “People get arrested in New York for some of those muggings.”

(B) WC 78, Cleveland 35

Chi-Chi Ezekwe was everything and everywhere in Warren Central’s blowout Wednesday night over Cleveland.

The senior scored a game-high 24 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and had five blocks in the runaway.

Dewayne Washington added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Vikings, who will play Jefferson County tonight in the second round of the Coca-Cola Classic at 8:30 p.m.