Vikings avenge early loss to Dogs with 52-48 victory

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 10, 2005

Warren Central’s Carla Latham (4) goes in for a layup in front of Natchez’s Jasmine Woods during the first half of the Lady Vikes’ win on Friday night. (MEREDITH SPENCER The Vicksburg Post)

[1/8/05]Both the Warren Central boys and the girls picked up huge Division 6-5A wins on Friday night against visiting Natchez.

For coach Jesse Johnson’s Vikings, the 52-48 victory was especially sweet. Last month at Natchez, the Bulldogs hammered the Vikings. This time, the Vikings played more physical and kept the quicker Bulldogs in line.

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“I really feel that all four of the teams in our division are evenly matched,” said Johnson, whose team improved to 9-8 overall and 1-2 in the division. “It’s just a matter of who can get up for the competition.”

For Natchez, the loss was its first in division play after two wins. The Bulldogs are now 11-6 on the season.

The contest was close throughout and came down to free-throw shooting at the end. WC hit its last three in the final 36.9 seconds and that proved to be the difference.

Trailing 49-48, Natchez had a chance to tie the game, but Rodney Gray missed a pair of free throws. On the second miss, Chico Hunter came up with the loose ball and drew a foul.

Hunter was hurt on the play and was unable to take his free throws. Jula Pugh came off the bench and made the back-end of the two-shot foul for a 50-48 lead.

Natchez missed on a pair of 3-point attempts and WC’s Tiger Robinson hit a pair of free throws to seal the game.

Johnson lamented the Vikings’ ragged looking play at times. They had a six-point lead early in the fourth quarter but could not stretch out the lead.

“That’s been our method this year,” Johnson said. “We just can’t seem to maintain our composure. We lose our focus in running our offense.”

Hunter led Warren Central with 15 points. Shaun Walker had 12, all in the second half. Lewis chipped in 10.

Tyron Wilson and Charles Cotuern had 10 each for Natchez.

(G) WC 68, Natchez 59

The Lady Vikes solidified their lead in division play with a 68-59 win over Natchez.

WC now sits alone atop the Division 6-5A standings with a 3-0 record.

Overall, the Lady Vikes improved to 13-4. Natchez fell to 7-8 overall, 1-2 in division.

“That was big for us because we’re now 3-0 in the division,” WC coach Donny Fuller said. “Natchez is so quick and athletic, but our girls really wanted it so bad tonight.

“My biggest problem was trying to get them to slow down. We got to racing up and down and that let Natchez get it closer.”

The Lady Vikes led by 23 late in the third quarter at 53-30. Natchez made a strong push at the end, cutting a 17-point WC lead to the game’s final margin of nine at the end.

The Lady Vikes’ three-quarter-court trap worked in forcing 35 turnovers by the Lady Bulldogs.

Cookie Johnson and Carla Latham worked a 1-2 punch on the offensive end combining for 37 points.

Johnson had 21, including 13 in the first half as WC eased out to a 35-24 lead.

Latham added 16 points while Saleda Montgomery had 13. Six other Lady Vikes also scored.

Natchez was paced by Jasmine Woods and Delequa Drake with 12 points each.