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Provine holds off pesky Lady Vikes

Warren Central girls basketball coach Donny Fuller clenches a towel in his mouth to avoid yelling at an official after a charging call went against the Lady Vikes late in the fourth quarter. (Meredith SpencerThe Vicksburg Post)

[12/4/2004] One year removed from winning its own tournament, the Warren Central Lady Vikes took aim Friday night at repeating as champions.

Provine had other ideas.

Jessica Houston scored 18 points and Christie Smith added 13 to lift the Lady Rams (8-2) to the Warren Central Classic championship.

“We didn’t do the key three things right tonight,” WC coach Donny Fuller said. “First, we didn’t do a good job getting back on defense and stopping the break. Second was blocking out and rebounding. I thought we did a good job blocking out, but we forgot the rebound part.

“Third, we turned the ball over way too many times.”

Provine, a lightning-quick team that platooned 11 players throughout the night, forced Warren Central into 31 turnovers including 10 in the first quarter.

Despite the turnover troubles in the first quarter, Warren Central bolted to a 15-5 lead behind 11 points from Cookie Johnson.

The two-time defending Vicksburg Post Player of the Year, ended the game with 19 points. She hit three 3-pointers early in the first quarter.

As quick as WC took a lead, though, Provine rebounded. The Lady Rams trailed by seven at the end of the first half, but struggled for only six points in the second quarter as Provine tied the game at 29 at the break.

Provine began to pull away after that, but never led by more than five the rest of the way.

Trailing 62-58 late in the fourth quarter, Shondalyn Rogers scored to pull WC within two points with 11 seconds to play.

Provine inbounded the ball and WC played for the steal instead of fouling.

“We wanted to trap her and try to get a turnover,” Fuller said.

Provine broke the trap and Houston was fouled intentionally with .8 seconds to play. She hit one of two free throws to end the game.

Carla Latham added 12 points for WC, but picked up her fourth foul early in the third quarter.

(B) VHS 73, WC 71

Vicksburg bounced back from a 3-point loss Thursday to Provine with a consolation win over its archrivals.

Fred Thomas scored a game-high 18 points and Sedrick Williams added 16 as the Gators improved to 7-4. Edwin Gaskin netted 11 points and freshman Jonathan Phelps added 10 in the victory.

Anthony Lewis scored a game-high 21 points and Shaun Walker and Chico Hunter each scored 14 in the loss.

Williams’ free throw with 10.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter gave the Gators a 73-69 lead, and the Vikings only managed a Walker basket the rest of the way.

(G) Jim Hill 47, Vicksburg 45

Rachel Jenkins and Kristin Ellis each scored 14 points for the Missy Gators (5-6), who finished fourth in the tournament.

Cre’Tarsha Taylor added 10 points for the Missy Gators, who lost to Provine on Thursday night.

Nikalita Williams scored 13 points to lead Jim Hill.