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Fourth-quarter surge lifts WC past Waves

Warren Central’s Chico Hunter (25) blocks the shot of Port Gibson’s Tobias Shanks during the Vikings’ 52-37 win over the Blue Waves on Saturday afternoon. (Jenny SevcikThe Vicksburg Post)

[1/17/04]On a dreary, rainy January afternoon it was probably fitting that Warren Central beat Port Gibson with a quick deluge of points.

The Lady Vikes used a 13-0 run at the start of the fourth quarter to pull away from the Wavettes and score a 61-45 win on Saturday.

Carla Latham came off the bench to lead WC with 14 points, Saleda Montgomery and Cookie Johnson each had 10, and Ebon Williams had eight points and 10 rebounds. Marineka Neal had a game-high 15 points and eight rebounds for Port Gibson (13-7).

“I thought the fatigue factor finally came into play a little bit. Port Gibson had a tough division game last night and we were off last night,” Warren Central coach Donny Fuller said. “I think they got a little tired, and it was to our advantage.”

Both teams shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, but went ice cold in the second. The Lady Vikes (13-6) missed their first five shots of the third quarter and hit just three of their first 10. Port Gibson hit only two of its first eight shots, however, allowing WC to take a 38-31 lead with 2:45 to play in the period.

Port Gibson cut the deficit to three points, 40-37, in the closing moments of the third quarter and had the ball on the baseline with 3.2 seconds to play in the period. An inbounds pass from Lawanda Shinall missed its target, though, and WC’s Dorothy Jenkins scooped it up at halfcourt.

Jenkins drove in for the uncontested layup as time expired. The Lady Vikes then scored the first 11 points of the fourth quarter, stretching their lead to 53-37.

“They turned the defense up and we just didn’t respond to it,” Port Gibson coach Harold Liggans said.

(B) WC 52, Port Gibson 37

Warren Central played the part of the gracious host against Port Gibson, giving the Blue Waves plenty of chances to stick around. The Blue Waves politely declined.

The Vikings used a pair of small runs to put some distance between themselves and Port Gibson, and scratched out a 15-point victory.

Chico Hunter had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Brian Phelps added nine points for the Vikings (7-11), who won the game, in part, at the free throw line. WC was 17-for-26 from the stripe, while Port Gibson was just 5-for-13.

“We’re real successful when we drive the ball to the goal and draw the foul, and put the other team at a disadvantage,” WC coach Jesse Johnson said.

Terrinell Claiborne led Port Gibson with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Ryan Hedrick added seven points, eight rebounds and five steals.

Port Gibson (5-17) had plenty of chances to stay in the game, but hit several shooting swoons at precisely the wrong times.

Midway through the second quarter, with the Vikings holding an 18-13 lead, WC’s Sedrick Williams was called for a foul in the lane and assessed a technical when he yelled out in disbelief.

Port Gibson converted only one of the four free throws, however, and failed to score on its ensuing possession. WC promptly went on an 8-0 run to end the half, and took a 26-14 lead into the locker room.

“That hurt us pretty bad. If we can make those, that pulls us back within one. We missed that one, and that really kind of threw us right there,” Port Gibson coach Kim Windom said.