Vikings’ comeback fails against Jim Hill

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Devin Jones of Vicksburg High (10) goes up for a basket in front of a South Pike player during the Gators’ win at the Warren Central Classic on Friday night. Vicksburg will play Jim Hill for the championship today. (The Vicksburg Post/Melanie Duncan)

[12/07/02]A last-minute 3-point barrage by Warren Central wasn’t enough to overcome poor free throw shooting, 33 turnovers, and Jim Hill Friday night at the WC Classic.

Ronnie Jones hit three 3-pointers in the last two minutes to rally WC (7-2) back from a late eight-point deficit, but the Vikings missed three 3-pointers in the final 25 seconds, hit only 11 of 21 free throw attempts and lost for just the second time this season, 62-58.

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“That was the deciding part of the game. We didn’t finish our breaks, we missed layups and we made turnovers at a crucial part of the game,” WC coach Preston Wilson said.

WC will face South Pike in today’s consolation game at 1:30 p.m. Vicksburg, which beat South Pike in Friday’s other first-round game, will face Jim Hill (8-0) in the championship game at 4:30 p.m at WC.

Jones hit five 3-pointers against Jim Hill and finished with 17 points, Dewayne Washington led the Vikings with 22 points, and Chi Chi Ezekwe had 12 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots before fouling out with 11.8 seconds to play.

Chris Carter led Jim Hill with 13 points. Stanford Speech had 12 and Raymond Davis added 11.

Jones hit a 3-pointer with a minute to play in the third quarter to tie the game at 35-35, but Jim Hill used an 8-2 run midway through the fourth quarter to help open the biggest lead by either team, 55-44, with just under two minutes to play.

“They got all the loose balls. They got all the second-chance shots,” Wilson said.

Then Jones got hot.

He hit two 3-pointers in less than 30 seconds to cut it to 55-50, but Jim Hill was able to maintain its lead at the foul line. The Tigers hit six straight free throws and led 61-53 with 41.7 seconds to play before Jones hit another 3-pointer and Washington converted a driving layup to make it 61-58 with 25.1 seconds remaining.

WC got the ball back on a five-second call on the inbounds pass, but Jones missed a 3-pointer. Jim Hill’s Jason Husband grabbed the rebound and was fouled.

Husband missed both free throws and WC got the rebound, but Ferdale Carr missed another 3-pointer. The Tigers missed two more free throws and WC again grabbed the rebound, but WC’s Dewayne Washington was caught in the air on a 3-point attempt from the top of the arc. He double-clutched on his shot as two Jim Hill defenders jumped with him, and it missed badly.

Chris Carter grabbed the rebound for Jim Hill, was fouled, and hit the second of two free throws with 1.6 seconds to play to ice the game.

(G) WC 67, Jim Hill 43

Carla Latham had a game-high 14 points to lead Warren Central into today’s championship game against crosstown rival Vicksburg at 3 p.m.

Ebon Williams and Jessica Lacey each added eight points for the Lady Vikes, who built a 10-point halftime lead, 31-21, and held Jim Hill to only seven points in the third quarter to put the game away. WC led by as many as 28 points in the second half.

Vicksburg beat South Pike 60-54 in the other first-round game Friday, earning a rematch with the Lady Vikes. Vicksburg beat WC 44-43 in the Coca-Cola Classic tournament in November, when VHS’ Charlette Taylor hit two free throws with 10.3 seconds to play.