Gators beat Terry in homecoming
Published 12:00 am Monday, January 5, 2004
[1/3/04]Homecoming is more closely associated with football than basketball, but the Vicksburg Gators celebrated theirs in fine fashion Friday night.
Walter Beamon scored 13 of his game-high 18 points in the second half, and Sedrick Williams had 10 points and seven assists as Vicksburg beat Terry 58-40.
It was Vicksburg’s first home game since Dec. 3, when it beat Port Gibson. The Gators (7-10) played nine road games over the last month, going 2-7. The stretch included a tough five-game losing streak that dropped their record under .500.
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“We’re just glad to be home. We hadn’t been home since Dec. 3, so it was good for us to get back home,” VHS coach Dellie Robinson said. “It’s no question about it, we wanted to play at home. I thought that was a big difference. It’s tough out there on the road, especially for a young team. Young teams play better at home than they do on the road.”
Cedric Parson added 11 points for Vicksburg, while Joe Willis led Terry with 13 and Spencer Spane had 11.
Terry (5-10) shot a respectable 46 percent from the field in the first half, but went ice cold in the second. The Bulldogs were just 8-for-26 from the field in the second half, and 0-for-14 from 3-point range.
“You’ve got to make shots. That’s part of the game. If you can’t make shots, you can’t play this game,” Terry coach Reginal McGee said.
The game was close for three quarters, with the two teams trading small runs and putting up nearly identical stat lines. A 3-pointer by Beamon near the end of the third quarter helped VHS take a 36-31 lead into the final period, and the Gators pulled away from there.
Williams assisted on three straight baskets during a quick 6-0 spurt that gave VHS the first double-digit lead by either team, 47-37, with 4:31 to play. The teams then went nearly three minutes without scoring, until Parson cleaned up a Beamon miss with a thunderous dunk to make it 49-37 with 1:47 to go.
Another Parson dunk 20 seconds later, this time on an alley-oop from Williams, made it 51-38 and marked the beginning of the end for Terry. The Bulldogs tried to stay in the game by fouling, but VHS scored five of its last seven points from the free throw line. In all, the Gators went 8-for-13 from the stripe in the fourth quarter.
“I thought they brought their defense up a little higher, and we were able to sneak back-door and get a couple of layups right there,” Robinson said. “Walter played tremendous down the stretch. He made some big shots for us … and we were able to get that 10-point lead.”
(G) VHS 52, Terry 24
Vicksburg’s gameplan for beating Terry was simple: use its speed and run until the Lady Bulldogs dropped.
It didn’t take long.
Tiffany Hubbard scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and VHS took advantage of 39 Terry turnovers most of them unforced to rout the Lady Bulldogs.
Erica Woodson added nine points for VHS (12-6), and Deirdre Bailey had eight. Amber Brown led Terry (1-14) with 10 points, and Keisha Brown had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Terry went on a 9-3 run in the opening minutes of the game and led 9-5 with 3:30 to play in the first quarter. It only scored one basket the rest of the period, however, and didn’t match the total of its run in any other quarter. The Lady Bulldogs managed only four points in the second quarter, two in the third and seven in the fourth.
The turnovers and some sharp shooting allowed the Missy Gators to seize control of the game in the second quarter, and they put it away in the third.
VHS was 7-for-15 from the field in the third quarter, outrebounded Terry 14-2, and outscored the Lady Bulldogs 17-2. The Missy Gators led 44-17 at the end of the period.
“I felt like we just wore them down with our speed. They hung with us for about a half, and then about the middle of the third quarter you could see it coming,” VHS coach Mike Coleman said. “They turned the ball over a lot in the first half, too, but it was tired turnovers that they had in the second half and it led to layups for us. The first half, they were throwing the ball away a lot but it was going out of bounds and we couldn’t get our fast break going.”