Washington’s career night ignites Warren Central

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 4, 2002

Chi Chi Ezekwe of Warren Central skies over Madison’s David Long, left, and Jasen Craighead for two of his 13 points in the Vikings’ 76-70 win on Tuesday. Ezekwe had 10 points in the first quarter. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[12/04/02]When Dewayne Washington let fly with a 35-foot prayer at the end of the third quarter against Madison Central Tuesday night, there was little doubt the shot would fall.

It had nothing to do with his form on the jumper, how the ball left his hand, or the number of times he had practiced it.

It was just that kind of night for the Warren Central senior.

Washington made 13 of 15 shots from the field and was 11-for-12 from the free throw line for a total of 38 points, leading WC (7-1) to a 76-70 win over Madison.

“He was in a groove. He made a big difference there. When he’s in a groove like that, you’ve got to get him the basketball,” WC coach Preston Wilson said. “Pretty much everything he had his hands on, he was able to score.”

Ortez Dorsey led Madison with 20 points 15 of them on five 3-pointers and C.J. Jeffrey added 13 points.

Chi Chi Ezekwe had 13 points and Ronnie Jones added nine for WC, which was able to overcome some late trouble at the foul line to hang on for the win.

The Vikings were 13-for-21 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, but most of the misses came in the last three minutes. That allowed Madison (4-4) to hang around until the final 30 seconds, when Washington hit a pair of free throws and Jones hit one of two to put the game on ice.

“They missed free throws down the stretch and we didn’t take advantage of it. We took bad shots,” Madison coach Jeff Heath said.

Taking bad shots certainly wasn’t a problem for Washington. He scored 16 of WC’s 23 points in the third quarter to help the Vikings surge to a 55-49 lead.

Most of Washington’s scoring came on drives or mid-range jumpers, but his biggest basket fell in from a little farther out.

As WC held for the last shot of the third quarter, the ball ended up in Washington’s hands about 35 feet from the basket. With no time left to drive, he launched a shot that found nothing but net.

The 3-pointer gave WC a 55-49 lead, and Madison never got closer than three points in the final quarter.

“I was just shooting it because we didn’t have much time on the clock,” said Washington, who also had three steals. “That got us going a lot, because we went up by seven and took it from there.”

(G) WC 55, MC 49

Warren Central used a bit of trickery to trigger a game-changing run against Madison Central.

Trailing by one point at halftime, 24-23, WC coach Donny Fuller called for a misdirection play on the opening inbounds pass of the second half. All but one Lady Vike, Saleda Montgomery, went to the basket to the left of the scorer’s table.

WC, of course, was defending that basket. Montgomery took the inbounds pass on the other side of the center line and drove in for an easy layup. She was fouled, but hit both free throws, and the play triggered a 12-0 run that gave the Lady Vikes a 35-24 lead midway through the third quarter and propelled them to the win.

“We call it Go the wrong way,'” Fuller said. “We caught them off-guard. I looked up and they were slow coming out of the dressing room, so I thought let’s try this and see.’ If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. You just go and set up on the right end.”

Brittany Banks led WC with 10 points off the bench, Cookie Johnson had nine points and nine rebounds, and Talisha Butler added eight points. Eight different Lady Vikes scored at least one basket.

The Lady Vikes outscored Madison 18-7 in the third quarter, made 8 of 9 free throws, forced six turnovers and outrebounded the Lady Jags 9-2. For the game, WC had a 33-17 advantage in rebounding.

“We came out in the third quarter and played if not our best, then one of our best quarters of the year,” Fuller said.

Freshman Danielle Severson led Madison (3-3) with 18 points, and her hot shooting in the fourth quarter helped the Lady Jags make a run in the closing minutes of the game.

WC led 52-40 with 1:35 to play before Severson hit three baskets to help Madison get back in it. The Lady Jags got as close as six points, 55-49, in the final minute before their shooting went cold and WC hung on for the win.

“I don’t know if it’s what they did as much as we had a mental lapse, a mental breakdown. We lost some intensity,” said Madison coach Jackie Suggett, whose team has lost three games by six points. “We had to get into a deep hole before we could get it going.”