Vicksburg gets another crack at top-seed WC|[2/14/05]

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 14, 2005

Whenever he can, Warren Central girls basketball coach Donny Fuller likes to play the earliest game of the division tournament.

If his team wins, they can go home to rest and he can return for the second game to scout. If his team loses, they pack it up, get the boxes and mothballs ready and prepare for next season.

On Tuesday, at Vicksburg High, the longtime Lady Vikes (20-7) coach will get his wish, having won the Division 6-5A championship. He’ll play host Vicksburg in the four-team tournament starting at 4 p.m.

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletter

Receive daily headlines and obituaries

“They know us better than anybody and we have to play them on their home floor for the second time in 10 days,” Fuller said. “Our kids know that if they don’t come ready to play, we’re breaking out the cardboard boxes and taking inventory on Wednesday.”

While the Lady Vikes have had the top spot wrapped up for several weeks, Natchez High is in a similar position on the boys side.

The Bulldogs are scheduled to play fourth-seeded Vicksburg at 5:30 p.m. Forest Hill’s girls and Natchez’s girls will play at 7 p.m. and Warren Central’s boys will close out the first night against Forest Hill at 8:30 p.m.

The winners of each game will play on Friday for the division championship, and a guaranteed home playoff game.

The Lady Vikes are 2-0 this season against Vicksburg, including a 25-point win in the schools’ first meeting of the season. WC won the second game, 55-47.

“We’re going to try to play them the same way we did last time. Just hope we don’t go 5 out of 25 shooting in the same half,” Coleman said.

The Missy Gators seem to have the deck stacked against them, the Vicksburg boys are in a different position at the bottom of the standings.

The Gators finished last with a 1-5 record to earn the No. 4 seed, but most of the games between the four teams were close. The balance in the division, as well as the Gators’ homecourt advantage, have VHS coach Dellie C. Robinson optimistic about their chances of moving on.

“It’s going to be a dogfight. Nobody’s a clear-cut winner of this thing,” said Robinson, whose team is coming off a 72-59 victory against Brandon in the regular-season finale on Friday. “We’ve got homecourt advantage, and that’s just like being seeded number one. As far as we’re concerned, we are the number one team. That’s the way we look at it, because we’re on our own floor.”

Warren Central’s boys also won their final game of the regular season, a 92-70 throttling of Magee. The Vikings played close with fourth-ranked Murrah for three quarters on Tuesday before succumbing late. In that game, though, the Vikings played without skywalker Mario Luckett, who missed the bus to Jackson.

Both Warren Central teams won the division championship last season, and the Lady Vikes advanced all the way to the state tournament in Jackson. The Vikings (16-11) were knocked out in the satellite game.