Madison doubles-up on Gators

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2003

[12/19/03]MADISON Dellie Robinson insists it’s too early for his Vicksburg High team to pack it in for the season, but their latest setback certainly left the Gators facing a blue Christmas.

Madison Central’s Clarence Jeffrey had a game-high 19 points to go along with four steals and five assists as the Jaguars took advantage of a subpar shooting effort and 20 VHS turnovers to beat the Gators 60-38 on Thursday.

It was the fifth straight loss for Vicksburg (5-8), which was playing without injured starters Fred Thomas and Alfred Patton, while Madison (13-1) continued its early-season roll.

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“We hung in there for a while. We’re playing a lot of sophomores, a lot of kids, and we have two starters out,” Robinson said. “We’re doing the best we can right now, but we’re not fixing to fold the tent and go home. We’re going to play to the end.”

Sedrick Williams led Vicksburg with 13 points, but was just 5-for-20 from the field and 1-for-10 from 3-point range. He was the only Gator to score in double figures, and his shooting struggles mirrored those of his teammates.

The Gators shot 35 percent from the field in the first half and were 2-for-9 from 3-point range as Madison Central built a 31-22 halftime lead.

Williams drove the baseline for a layup to start the third quarter, then came up with a steal and another layup on Madison’s ensuing possession to cut it to 31-26. On the next possession, he got another steal but missed a layup.

Madison got the rebound, and Jasen Craighead hit a 3-pointer on the other end of the floor to push the lead back to eight points. Vicksburg never got that close again, and managed only three points the rest of the quarter as Madison slowly pulled away.

“We played man-to-man that first trip, but then we went into those zone traps,” Madison coach Jeff Heath said. “You run man-to-man that whole first half and they get used to their sets and they get a good feeling about what they want to do, and you don’t want them to get comfortable. So in the second half it’s time to go to something else, and I think that helped us.”

(G) Madison Central 53, VHS 38

A poor shooting performance in the first half left Vicksburg High playing catchup against Madison Central, and proved to be too much for the Missy Gators to overcome.

Alexis McField had 12 points and 14 rebounds, Patsy Slater had 12 points and Madison Adams scored 11 as Madison Central (8-6) put away Vicksburg with a fourth-quarter surge.

Tiffany Hubbard led Vicksburg with 14 points, nine rebounds, and five steals. Cre’Tarsha Taylor scored 11 points and Erica Woodson added 10, while Kristin Ellis grabbed nine rebounds.

“We didn’t shoot the ball real well, and we got out of position a lot on defense, too,” Vicksburg High coach Mike Coleman said. “We’ve just got get our minds back right. We’re going to take a little break until Monday and just start over again.”

VHS (9-5) shot just 26 percent from the field in the first half, allowing Madison to take a 13-point lead at halftime. And each time VHS got close in the third quarter, the Lady Jags capitalized on a Vicksburg miss or turnover.

Erica Woodson followed a three-point play with a 3-point shot midway through the third to cut it to 33-22, but Madison answered with a 6-0 run to push the lead back to 17 points. Adams scored on an uncontested layup after sneaking behind the VHS defense on an inbounds pass and Slater drove through three Missy Gators in the lane for another layup to make it 39-22 with 2:41 to play in the third.

Hubbard sparked a brief VHS rally about two minutes later with a basket, followed by a steal and an assist to Kendra Sims to help the Missy Gators cut it to 40-32 early in the fourth.

Madison had the solution again, though, going on a 7-1 run to push the lead back to double digits midway through the period. Vicksburg never threatened again.