Lady Vikes shock Provine in OT

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Warren Central girls basketball coach Donny Fuller leaps high in the air after the Lady Vikes took the lead in overtime against Provine on Friday night. Celebrating along with Fuller are Lady Vikes, from left, Jessica Lacey, Tranyce Peoples and Ashley Vinzant. WC won the Warren Central Classic, 73-70. The Lady Vikes avenged an earlier loss to the Lady Rams this season.(Melanie Duncan Thortis The Vicksburg Post)

[12/6/03]Warren Central almost shot its way out of a huge upset Friday night.

The Lady Vikes let a 12-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter and needed a spirited effort in overtime to beat No. 5 Provine for the championship of the Warren Central Classic on Friday night.

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“It feels so good to beat someone who’s ranked,” said WC’s Carla Latham, who scored 13 points. “We’re not even ranked and went in as the underdog. It feels so good to win. To beat Provine, it makes us so happy.”

The win was the first for the Lady Vikes over a ranked team this season, and avenges a 19-point loss to the Lady Rams (9-2) earlier in the season.

“We were lucky to go to overtime,” Provine coach Barbara Hartzog said. “A lot of teams wouldn’t have come back from that. We could have folded the tent.”

After a back-and-forth three quarters, Warren Central (7-4) quickly took control in the fourth quarter, opening up a 58-46 lead with 5 minutes, 15 seconds to play.

Then WC lost its focus. The team started throwing up outside shots, missed inside shots and watched as the Lady Rams pulled to within two points four minutes later.

“We’re up 12 and we want to keep the ball down low and we throw up every 16-to-18 foot jumper that showed itself,” WC coach Donny Fuller said. “Finally we got the ball to where we wanted to and got it into overtime.”

With the game tied at 65 with 3 seconds left in regulation, Provine intercepted an inbounds pass, but a desperation 3-pointer by Sandra Harper missed badly.

Neither team scored in the first two minutes of overtime until Cookie Johnson, who led the Lady Vikes with 20 points and 14 rebounds, hit a pair of free throws for a 67-65 lead.

Provine never led again.

Warren Central went up 71-68 on a Dorothy Jenkins basket, but Jessica Houston answered with a bucket to get the Lady Rams to within one point with 7.2 seconds to play.

Saleda Montgomery was fouled and nailed both her free throws as WC took a 73-70 lead.

“I was nervous,” Montgomery said. “But I knew that if I knocked these down, they’d be down by 3.”

After a timeout, Provine inbounded the ball. But Harper, the team’s best 3-point shooter, missed a long 3-pointer, setting off a wild celebration.

Harper led all scorers with 21 points, including four 3-pointers. She scored only five of those points in the second half, however. Anesia McBride netted 14, while Jessica Houston added 12 in the loss.

Latham scored 13 for the Lady Vikes, and Ebon Williams added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

“They’re a good team and anyone can get beat on any given day,” Hartzog said. “… Everyone loses games. We’ll go on and play our games next week. But they are happy, so let them be happy.”

(G) VHS 60, Jim Hill 29

Tiffany Hubbard went wild again with 24 points to lead the Missy Gators (8-3) to a blowout of Jim Hill in the consolation game of the tournament.

Erica Woodson scored 14 as the Missy Gators held a 38-18 lead at halftime and never looked back.

(B) Jim Hill 56, Vicksburg 53

Jim Hill captured the Warren Central Classic boys championship in a barn-burner over Vicksburg.

Alfred Patton and Sedrick Williams each scored 13 points for Vicksburg, while Cedric Parsons added nine points.