Terry steals a pair from Vicksburg

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 27, 2002

Jamaal Thomas of Vicksburg (21) skies for a rebound in front of Terry’s Jamal Reynolds in the first half of the Gators’ 74-70 loss in the opening round of the Northwest Rankin Dr. Pepper Classic on Thursday. (The Vicksburg Post/C. todd sherman)

BRANDON Devin Jones has picked so many players’ pockets, it was time someone picked his.

Terry sophomore Patrick Jordan stripped Jones, Vicksburg High’s point guard and best all-around player, then scored an uncontested layup to give Terry an overtime lead en route to a 74-70 win in the opening round of the Northwest Rankin Tournament on Thursday.

“I tried to step up on him,” said Jordan, a reserve who had come off the bench after starter Patrick Horton fouled out. “I saw what he was doing to my teammates and just watched him. I came up, bumped him a little bit and kept him off balance.”

After the steal, Jordan put on a move that made Jones slip to the floor, opening a lane for what proved to be the game-winner.

Jones, who averages almost four steals a game, had another stellar effort with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five steals, but fouled out with 27 seconds to play. Jordan hit a free throw for a 73-70 lead and Vicksburg’s Roy Williams’ 3-pointer bounded off the rim and Chris Ellis hit a free throw with 3.7 seconds to play to seal the game.

“That was a very good basketball team we just beat,” first-year Terry coach Brad Schut said. “They have guys that can do it all. We happened to make the right plays at the right time. That’s a good win for us.”

The loss drops the Gators into today’s loser’s bracket against Brandon at 11:50 this morning. Brandon is coached by former Ole Miss standout Joezon Darby.

“I knew they were a good ballclub, but I thought we played well enough to win,” Vicksburg coach Dellie Robinson said. “We’re up three late in the game and give them a wide-open three, I was disappointed at that, but the kids gave a good effort.”

Trailing 66-63 late in regulation, Jamal Reynolds nailed a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. Williams opened the overtime with a slam dunk and a 68-66 lead, but the Gators scored just two points the rest of the way.

Sedrick Williams, Jamaal Thomas and Roy Williams each had 14 in the loss.

Horton led Terry (7-5) with 18 points 13 in the first quarter while James Kendrick and A.J. Oliver each had 16. Chris Ellis added 12 in the win.

The Gators loss ended a sour day for Vicksburg High in general.

In the opening game of the tournament, the Missy Gators (8-5) trailed for most of three quarters before their fourth-quarter rally fell short.

“I was disappointed in our effort early,” Vicksburg coach Mike Coleman said. “I knew Terry was ready to play because as soon as they got here, they were on the court shooting and our bus beat them here by about five minutes and we were still in the dressing room.”

Tricia Dart had a team-high 20 points and Arcola Scott netted 10 in the loss.

Jasmine Lindsey had a game-high 29 in the win, while Jamie Sanders had 15 and Britney Lothridge had 13 for Terry (7-5).

Trailing by as many as seven midway through the fourth quarter and with senior guard Shalonda Williams having fouled out, the Missy Gators pulled to within 57-56 on a pair of Tiffany Hubbard free throws with less than a minute to play.

But Terry converted a 3-point play and the Missy Gators were unable to score the rest of the way.

“I told our girls that no matter what time of year it is or what time of day it is, if we love the game, we are going to do what it takes to start winning,” Coleman said.