Provine throttles WC for tournament win

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 17, 2003

[11/16/03]Provine quashed any celebrations Saturday at Warren Central, running through the Coca-Cola Tournament with three blowout wins.

Jessica Houston scored 19 points to lead four Lady Rams in double figures as Provine won the Coca-Cola Tournament with a 71-51 victory over Warren Central.

The win was the Lady Rams’ (3-1) third straight tournament win by at least 20 points. Earlier in the week, Provine upended both Vicksburg and Port Gibson.

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“We looked at this like we were defending (the title),” said Provine coach Barbara Hartzog, whose team won the tournament last year as well. “We had to come over here and prove to ourselves that we deserve the credit we are getting.”

Provine used an 8-0 run late in the first quarter to take a 17-9 lead at the end of the first and never trailed after that.

The victory also put on hold Donny Fuller’s pursuit of the Warren Central coaching mark.

Fuller tied Lloyd Clark with 245 career wins with a victory Thursday, but couldn’t get the deciding victory with Clark in attendance.

“They scare me because they are so dang quick and so dang big that they can give you a lot of problems in a hurry,” Fuller said. “It makes it tough to press them and tough to do a lot of things.”

It didn’t help that the Lady Vikes best player, Cookie Johnson, was saddled early with foul trouble. She scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but sat out most of the first and second quarters with fouls.

“That was big,” Hartzog said of getting Johnson and Ebon Williams, another WC post player, in foul trouble. “Those are their two most dangerous players.”

With two starters on the bench and Provine forcing a bevy of turnovers, the Lady Rams held a 15-point lead at halftime.

Provine extended the lead to as many as 23 in the second half, but kept the advantage around 20 for the entire second half.

Sandra Harper added 15 points in the win, while Christie Milton scored 12 and Shonda Starks added 10.

For Warren Central, Carla Latham scored a team-high 16 and Ashley Vinzant grabbed 11 rebounds.

“I told our kids that we’ll learn a lot more from this game than we will a blowout win,” Fuller said.

Port Gibson 49, Vicksburg 46

Tonya Greer scored a game-high 19 points and Amina Palmer hit a pair of free throws late in the fourth quarter to salt away an upset win over the Missy Gators.

Palmer had 15 points and her two free throws with 11.6 seconds to play forced Vicksburg to attempt a desperation 3-pointer.

Cre’Tarsha Taylor led the Missy Gators with 13 points and Kristin Ellis scored nine.

Port Gibson held Vicksburg standout Tiffany Hubbard to only five points.