Lady Vikes earn tough victory over Port Gibson

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 19, 2004

[11/19/04] Warren Central exceeded its coach’s expectations with its fourth win of the season.

The Lady Vikes fought off a furious defensive effort by Port Gibson for a 58-49 win on Thursday. Cookie Johnson paced WC with 27 points, and Carla Latham scored nine of her 19 in a crucial third quarter.

“We surpassed one of our goals,” WC coach Donny Fuller said with a laugh. “I said before the year we would only win three games.”

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Fuller, who lowered his annual prediction from five wins to three this season, had to motivate his team with a heated speech at haltime after a sluggish first half.

“We’re much better when he chews us out,” Latham said. “But we’re a better second half team.”

The game began with a technical foul on Port Gibson for changing a player’s number after the lineups had been submitted. The Blue Waves’ Wakia Dotson was listed as No. 10 on the scorebook, but came out as No. 4, prompting the technical. Johnson made both free throws for WC and the Lady Vikes received the ball with no tip-off.

But the Lady Vikes (4-1) trailed 16-14 after the first quarter. They had trouble breaking the Blue Waves’ press, and turnovers led to a 12-2 run for Port Gibson. Sharineka Neal powered inside for nine of her 13 points in the opening quarter.

Warren Central battled back in the second quarter. Johnson hit a jump shot with six seconds remaining in the half for WC to take a 23-22 lead into the break. The Lady Vikes made only 8 of 23 shots (.348) in the first half and committed 16 turnovers.

“Their whole team is physical,” Latham said. “(Neal) is big and tall, but all of them play the same.”

Behind Latham’s strong inside play, the Lady Vikes pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring the Blue Waves 19-12.

WC, which had trouble scoring in the paint, was helped by Neal fouling out with 4:32 remaining in the fourth quarter.

“We were glad to see her go out,” Fuller said. “She’s so big and she’s tough. When she went out, the inside game really favored us.”

Entering the final quarter behind 42-34, the Blue Waves came no closer than seven points as Johnson and Latham carried WC down the stretch.

Port Gibson 54, WC 52

Terrinell Claiborne scored 14 points, Denzell Marbley added 12 and Port Gibson rallied to beat Warren Central. Rashaan Williams led WC with 12 points and Cody Grant added nine.

WC led by five points entering the fourth quarter, but Port Gibson outscored the Vikings 15-8 in the final period to pull out the win.

The Blue Waves were helped by WC’s poor free throw shooting WC was 0-for-8 from the line in the second half and a turnover with four seconds left that ended the Vikings’ final chance.

Tallulah High Tournament

(G) McCall 70, Davidson 40

Bettina Fountain scored 36 points, grabbed 22 rebounds and had seven steals to lead McCall past Davidson in the opening round of the Tallulah High Tournament.

Erika Hicks added 22 points for the Lady Dragons (1-1), and Sallie Guy led Davidson (0-2) with eight points.

McCall led Davidson only 22-15 at halftime but outscored the Lady Warriors 48-25 in the second half. The Lady Dragons will face Newellton today at 4:30 p.m.

(B) Newellton 72, Mangham 57

Marcus Hill scored a game-high 27 points and Derrick Brown had 26 to give Newellton the win. The Bears (2-0) jumped out to a 25-8 lead and held on.

Dontae Smith scored 25 in the losing effort for Mangham (1-1). Newellton will face McCall today at 8:30 p.m.

(B) Tallulah 58, Davidson 51

Behind a 25-point performance by DeAntra Allen, Tallulah held off Davidson for its second victory of the season. Brandon Campbell added 14 points for the Trojans (2-0).

Rodney Guice scored a team-high 11 points for Davidson (1-1).

Tallulah’s girls team is scheduled to play Newellton at 5:45 p.m. today, followed by the boys against Lake Providence at 7 p.m.