Lady Vikes’ late charge falls short

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Warren Central’s Carla Latham (4) goes up for a shot against Callaway’s Juanita Ward on Monday. (Jon GiffinThe Vicksburg Post)

[11/23/04]In big games this season, the Warren Central Lady Vikes play like the “close, buts …”

They were close to beating Provine in the semifinals of the Vicksburg Warren Coca Cola Classic, but late turnovers felled any comeback.

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On Monday, they were close again, this time at beating Callaway, but three turnovers and big play from Callaway’s dazzling duo of Juanita Ward and Dominic Cranford again cost WC a win.

Ward, an Ole Miss signee, scored 19 points and Cranford netted 16 in a 58-53 win at WC.

“Those were two games we had an opportunity to win, but we gave it away,” WC coach Donny Fuller said. “We’ve got to figure out how to win these big ball games at the end. It’s something we should be able to do because we are a senior ballclub.

“We have to eliminate some of those late mistakes and get after it for 32 minutes.”

Warren Central pulled to within four points with 1 minute, 24 seconds to play and had three straight opportunities to cut away at the lead further. Each time, though, WC turned the ball over as Callaway went up 56-50 with 10 seconds to play.

Carla Latham was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit all three free throws to get the game within three points. Cranford was then fouled and connected on both free throws to seal the victory.

“That’s what our seniors are there to do,” said Callaway coach Maxine Johnson, whose team improved to 8-0 on the year.

Latham led Warren Central with 21 points and Cookie Johnson netted 17. The Lady Vikes turned the ball over 22 times. Kiana Jones netted 14 for the Lady Chargers.

Both teams struggled through the first half with Callaway holding a 24-15 lead. The Lady Vikes sliced the lead to five at the end of the third quarter and got to within a basket several times in the second half, but could never take the lead.

“We never could get over the hump,” Fuller said.

(B) WC 70, Callaway 62

Warren Central used a 13-2 run to start the fourth quarter to turn a deficit into a victory against the Chargers.

Chico Hunter scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the first half as the Vikings improved to 4-2 on the young season.

Shaun Walker added 15 for WC, while Anthony Lewis scored 13.

Warren Central entered the fourth quarter trailing 56-53. The Vikings held Callaway scoreless for the first 4 1/2 minutes of the quarter and built a 66-56 lead.

James Burkes scored a team-high 17 in the loss.

(G) Vicksburg 42, Jeff. Co. 38

Kendra Sims scored 11 points and Cre’Tarsha Taylor and Rachel Jenkins each scored 10 to lead the Missy Gators past Jefferson County.

Vicksburg (5-2) needed a couple of late 3-pointers to stave off an upset bid by the Lady Tigers.

Vicksburg led by four points going into the fourth quarter and played even ball with Jefferson County the rest of the way.

The Missy Gators will be in action again today at 6 p.m. at home against Jim Hill.

(B) VHS 56, Jefferson Co. 49

Sedrick Williams scored a game-high 20 points and Vicksburg held off a spirited fourth-quarter effort by Jefferson County.

Brandon Harper added 11 points for Vicksburg (4-2), which had a 15-point lead going into the fourth quarter before the Tigers knocked the advantage down to seven.

“We played well for three quarters,” VHS coach Dellie C. Robinson said. “We had a 15 point lead and then we turned the ball over a couple times and they got momentum.”