Lady Vikes wrap up top spot in division

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 24, 2005

Warren Central’s Brittany Banks heads toward the goal as Vicksburg’s Kristin Ellis (21) gets a hand on the ball Saturday. Also defending on the play are VHS’ Jazmin Johnson, left, and Rachel Jenkins, rear. (BRIAN LODEN The Vicksburg Post)

[1/23/05] Warren Central was a team with a mission on Saturday capture the No. 1 seed for the Division 6-5A tournament.

Mission accomplished.

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Carla Latham scored 16 of her game-high 22 points in the first half, Saleda Montgomery added 14 points and Shondalyn Rogers had nine as Warren Central crushed Vicksburg 70-45 in the crosstown rivals’ first meeting of the season.

WC (16-5, 4-0) opened an 18-point halftime lead and never led by less than 18 in the second half. No Vicksburg players scored in double figures, although Rachel Jenkins did have nine points.

“It’s a big win because it takes all the pressure off us as far as the division is concerned,” WC coach Donny Fuller said.

The loss puts Vicksburg (12-12, 1-3) in a tough situation. The Missy Gators must win their last two division games against Natchez and Warren Central to avoid earning the No. 4 seed in the tournament and a first-round rematch with WC.

“This hurts us,” VHS coach Mike Coleman said.

Warren Central opened the game with a 9-3 run and never trailed. After Vicksburg scored the first basket of the second quarter to cut it to 18-12, the Lady Vikes went on a 17-0 run and basically put the game away by halftime.

WC shot 56 percent from the field in the first half and forced the Missy Gators into 21 turnovers.

“We told our kids we wanted to start out and get after them early, and take control,” Fuller said.

Vicksburg was able to cut the deficit to 18 in the third quarter by taking advantage of poor 3-point shooting by WC, but never got back in the game.

“Their defense is just so outstanding. They can make you look like that,” Coleman said of WC. “They’ve made a lot of teams look like that this year.”