WC stomps Vicksburg

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 24, 2005

Vicksburg’s Edwin Gaskin, middle, tries to drive to the hoop as Warren Central’s Andy Anderton, left, and Chico Hunter defend. Gaskin had 16 points for the Gators, but they lost 48-38 on Saturday. (BRIAN LODEN The Vicksburg Post)

[1/23/05] After his team fell behind by 10 points at halftime Saturday, Warren Central coach Jesse Johnson decided to try a new motivational approach.

Instead of the usual yelling, screaming pep talk, he got his players to visualize what went wrong and correct it. The new age tactic worked perfectly.

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The Vikings outscored Vicksburg 18-2 in the third quarter and held the Gators to just nine points in the second half. Chico Hunter had 12 of his team-high 15 points after halftime, Cody Grant scored 12, and WC (13-8, 2-2 Division 6-5A) beat VHS 48-38.

“I went against my yelling and screaming tactics and tried to get them to visualize some of the things that we weren’t doing,” Johnson said. “Once they started running our system, it’s hard to beat them.”

Edwin Gaskin led Vicksburg (11-13, 0-4) with 16 points and Brandon Harper grabbed 10 rebounds. The Gators’ Sederick Williams went 0-for-9 from 3-point range and finished with a season-low six points.

The loss dropped Vicksburg to 0-4 in Division 6-5A play and assures them of the No. 4 seed in the division tournament next month.

“The only thing we can hope for now is a great game in the district tournament,” VHS coach Dellie C. Robinson said.

Vicksburg shot 54 percent from the field in the first half, committed only seven turnovers, and went on a 9-1 run over the last 3 minutes of the second quarter to take a 29-19 lead into halftime.

Sometime during the halftime break, however, the Gators swapped uniforms with another team. They turned it over nine times in the third quarter, had only four field goal attempts and made one.

Vicksburg didn’t even get a rebound in the second half until Harper corralled a missed 3-pointer by WC with 5 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

“I’ve been around basketball a long time, but this is as low as it gets,” Robinson said. “We laid down and didn’t do anything the second half. We could have left at halftime.”

Warren Central needed less than three minutes to erase the 10-point halftime deficit. Cody Grant tied the game on a layup with 5:20 to play in the third quarter, and a pair of free throws by Mario Luckett put the Vikings ahead.

Williams tied it with a basket, but WC closed the period with a 6-0 run and never trailed again. All seven of Vicksburg’s fourth-quarter points came in the final two minutes.

“That first-half team was uncharacteristic of us,” Grant said. “The second half we came out and played like we’re capable of playing.”